Effects of cationic species on visual color formation in model Maillard reactions of pentose sugars and amino acids

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 27;56(16):7160-4. doi: 10.1021/jf801197n. Epub 2008 Jul 9.


Effects of cationic species on Maillard browning were examined after heating (ca. 100 degrees C) aqueous pH 7.2 buffered solutions of amino acids and pentose sugars. Metallic ions of Group I metals (Li, Na, K, Rb and Cs) produced a small increase in browning (A420), but somewhat greater effects were observed with ions of Group II metals Ca and Mg. Browning was suppressed by triethylammonium ion, but unaffected by a salt of the stronger base, guanidine. The quaternary amine salt choline chloride produced enhanced browning and served as a model for phospholipid involvement in Maillard reactions. With alpha,omega-diamino acids increases in browning were observed which related to lowered pK2 values resulting from positively charged omega-substituents in these molecules.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / chemistry*
  • Cations
  • Choline / pharmacology
  • Color*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Maillard Reaction / drug effects*
  • Metals / pharmacology*
  • Pentoses / chemistry*
  • Solutions


  • Amino Acids
  • Cations
  • Metals
  • Pentoses
  • Solutions
  • Choline