Analysis of Maillard reaction products
Product storage, shelf life and Maillard reactions
Maillard reactions happen during heating processes such as in a factory but also during long term storage of products. The reaction rate during storage is depending on water content, time and temperature, but the presence of reducing sugars is a requirement. A variety of products is prone to degradation such as milk powders, (enzyme treated or hydrolyzed) cereal products from different origin, animal feed, etc. HMF is known to be present in high levels in roasted food, in dried fruits and high acidic foods like balsamic vinegar. Storing those foods will only lead to higher levels of HMF. Susceptible foods for increasing HMF levels during storage are those that are high in carbohydrates like fruit juice concentrates, honeys and jams and jellies but also increase of HMF levels in infant formulas has been reported.
As regular acid hydrolysis will not be always sufficient to show a decrease in lysine, analysis of Maillard reaction products is a great indicator.