The Significance of Pyrazine Formation in Flavor Generation during the Maillard Reaction

  • Published : 1997.12.01


The chemistry background of the Maillard reaction focused on pyrazines and factors affecting the reaction products were reviewed. The Maillard reaction, also called a non-enzymatic browning reaction, is quite complex and generates numerous reaction products. In processed foods, it is generally accepted as a key reaction to produce flavor components. Specially, pyrazines possess an important impact character on the roasted foods with other heterocyclic compounds. The Maillard reaction is initiated by condensation between reducing sugar and amino group, and N-glycosylamines are produced via Schiff base with dehydration of water. After the rearrangement of the N-glycosylamines, they follow transformation into deoxyhexosones which are reactive intermediates. Degradation and fragmentation are facilitated by rearranged compounds. By condensation, pyrazine, one of the final Maillard products, is generated as a relatively stable form to provide specific aromas. During the processes of the reaction, chemical or physical environmental parameters affect the formation of the products.