Chinese researchers have heated vitamin C with L-cysteine to make a range of meaty aroma compounds, the exact aroma depends on the pH at which the reaction takes place. A mass spectrometric analysis revealed that 43 distinct aroma volatiles were produced. Among them alicyclic sulfur compounds, thiophenes, thienothiophenes, thiophenones, thiazoles and pyrazines.
The team points out that the Maillard reaction generates flavors when food is cooked, baked, or roasted and could now be used to make novel flavor additives and enhancers in a controlled way from ingredients found naturally in our foods.
- Aroma compounds generated from thermal reaction of L-ascorbic acid with L-cysteine
A.-N. Yu, A.-D. Zhang,
Food Chem. 2010, 121(4), 1060-1065.