Expert in Maillard Reaction; Flavor Analysis
MAILLARD REACTION; NON-ENZYMATIC BROWNING; REACTION FLAVOR. Expert has studied the interaction of amino acids or proteins with reducing sugars which results in a prominent chemical reaction that occurs during thermal processing of foods. This reaction, known as Maillard or browning reaction, has profound effects on the color, flavor, and texture of processed foods. Control of this reaction during thermal treatment can lead to a greater commercial exploitation of its effects, such as in situ generation of reaction flavors and enhancement of the quality of flavor and color of processed food. Expert has spent the last ten years studying the detailed mechanism of this reaction to provide the tools necessary to control this reaction in food systems. The effects of amino acid and sugar type, kinetics of the reaction, effect of temperature, and water content are important parameters that can be manipulated to achieve the desired end product. Expert has used synthetic intermediates (Amadori products) of this reaction to study their fate during the Maillard reaction and employed different analytical techniques to analyze the reaction mixtures. These techniques include pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (Py/GC/MS), linked-scan mass spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a multi-detector system (diode array, scanning fluorescent and pulsed amperometry) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
FLAVOR ANALYSIS. Expert understands that the flavor of a food product is the single most important factor that determines its commercial success. Knowledge of the differences in flavor composition between different samples can lead to a better understanding of the differences in their processing conditions and the presence of specifically added ingredients that give rise to the perceived differences. Expert has applied his experience gained through analysis of complex Maillard reaction mixtures to the analysis of different food samples, using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with cryogenic cooling of the GC column to trap volatile aroma components and identifying their structures by mass spectrometry. In addition, the origins of certain reaction flavors can be identified by tracing back specific products arising from specific precursors.
MICROWAVE COOKING. A recurring problem facing the food and flavor industries is the lack of browning that occurs during microwave cooking. In addition, the sensory properties of microwave-cooked foods differ considerably from those prepared by conventional heating methods. Expert, based on his research of Maillard reaction, has developed considerable experience in generating specific flavors and colors under microwave irradiation. This approach has been used successfully to generate freshly-baked and meat flavors under microwave heating.