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The kinetics of thermal generation of flavour


Correspondence to: Jane K Parker, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AP, UK.



Control and optimisation of flavour is the ultimate challenge for the food and flavour industry. The major route to flavour formation during thermal processing is the Maillard reaction, which is a complex cascade of interdependent reactions initiated by the reaction between a reducing sugar and an amino compound. The complexity of the reaction means that researchers turn to kinetic modelling in order to understand the control points of the reaction and to manipulate the flavour profile. Studies of the kinetics of flavour formation have developed over the past 30 years from single- response empirical models of binary aqueous systems to sophisticated multi-response models in food matrices, based on the underlying chemistry, with the power to predict the formation of some key aroma compounds. This paper discusses in detail the development of kinetic models of thermal generation of flavour and looks at the challenges involved in predicting flavour. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry