• enzyme hydrolysis;
  • Maillard reaction products;
  • colour-inhibiting effect;
  • antioxidant activity;
  • principal component analysis


BACKGROUND: Light-coloured and savoury-tasting flavour enhancers are attractive to both consumers and food producers. The aim of this study was to investigate the colour-inhibiting effect of L-cysteine and thiamine during the Maillard reaction of soybean peptide and D-xylose. The correlation between volatile compounds and antioxidant activity of the corresponding products was also studied.

RESULTS: Colour formation was markedly suppressed by cysteine. Compared with peptide/xylose (PX), the taste profile of Maillard reaction products (MRPs) derived from peptide/xylose/cysteine (PXC) and peptide/xylose/cysteine/thiamine (PXCT) was stronger, including umami, mouthfulness, continuity, meaty and overall acceptance. PXC and PXCT also exihibited distinctly higher antioxidant activity. Principal component analysis was applied to investigate the correlation between antioxidant activity and volatile compounds. Of 88 volatile compounds identified, 55 were significantly correlated with antioxidant activity by two principal components (accounting for 85.05% of the total variance).

CONCLUSION: Effective colour control of the Maillard reaction by L-cysteine may allow the production of healthier (higher antioxidant activity) and tastier foods to satisfy consumers' and food producers' demands. Light-coloured products might be used as functional flavour enhancers in various food systems. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry