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Maillard Reaction UPSC NOTE

 What is the Maillard Reaction? 

  • Named after the early 20th-century French scientist Louis-Camille Maillard, the Maillard reaction is a chemical process that occurs when amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, and sugars are heated

  • The process affects the flavours, aromas, and textures of foods

  • The Maillard reaction is a form of non-enzymatic browning of food, which means that the colour change occurs without the activity of enzymes

How does the Maillard reaction cause browning of food?

  • Maillard Reaction is a complex chemical mechanism that leads to the formation of multiple products through the process

  • Chemist J.E. Hodge in 1953 was the first to break down the reaction into steps for simplification. 

  • A variety of foods, including meats, bread, vegetables, coffee beans etc., contain both sugars and protein units

  • When food is heated, these sugars and proteins undergo a condensation reaction to form a protein-sugar compound called unstable Schiff base

  • When the Schiff base is rearranged and dehydrated, various intermediate compounds form

  • These compounds react further to produce important flavour compounds and contribute to the development of characteristic aromas in the food

  • Some of the intermediate compounds undergo a rearrangement, which results in the reorganisation of the atoms in the Schiff base, creating a more stable product

  • These products are important precursors for melanoidins, which are responsible for the brown coloration of the food

  • These compounds undergo further changes like condensation and polymerisation, leading to the formation of melanoidins — nitrogen-containing compounds that give food the distinct brown colour

  • The rate and extent of the Maillard reaction depend on several factors, including temperature, acidity, moisture content, and the types and concentrations of proteins and sugars in the food

  • Research suggests the ideal temperatures for the Maillard reaction are in the range of 110 degrees C and 170 degrees C, and temperatures higher than that can burn the food and render bitter flavours. 

  • These compounds undergo further changes like condensation and polymerisation, leading to the formation of melanoidins — nitrogen-containing compounds that give food the distinct brown colour

  • The rate and extent of the Maillard reaction depend on several factors, including temperature, acidity, moisture content, and the types and concentrations of proteins and sugars in the food

  • Research suggests the ideal temperatures for the Maillard reaction are in the range of 110 degrees C and 170 degrees C, and temperatures higher than that can burn the food and render bitter flavours. 


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Maillard Reaction UPSC NOTE
Maillard Reaction UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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