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6 April 2021

The danger of lysinoalanine

Heat treatment is used for sterilization and pasteurization, and to promote desirable functional properties in proteins and food systems. During heat treatment of milk, various reactions take place, including Maillard reactions, denaturation and aggregation of whey protein, and formation of complexes between whey proteins, caseins and fat globules. Non-enzymic protein crosslinks are formed through heat and/or alkali treatment of proteins. On hydrolysis of the cross-linked proteins, isodipeptides such as lysinoalanine (LAL), lanthionine and histidinoalanine are formed. These compounds, particularly LAL, have been used as markers of thermal damage in foods.

The formation of LAL is accompanied by the reduction and racemization of essential amino acids in food, which reduces the nutritional value of food proteins. In addition, LAL can even form chelates with metalloenzymes, which specifically induce nephrocalcinosis and produce giant renal cells and necrosis of renal tubular cells in mice. LAL content has been used as a quality index in infant formula foods to prevent illness in infants.

Therefore it is very important as a (infant formula) producer to be aware of these dangers. Ansynth Service B.V. is highly specialized in analysis of lysinoalanine as indicators of quality of feed and food products.