The chemistry of the key intermediate in the Maillard reaction, the Amadori rearrangements product, is reviewed covering the areas of synthesis, chromatographic analyses, chemical and spectroscopic methods of characterization, reactions, and kinetics. Synthetic strategies involving free and protected sugars are described in detail with specific synthetic procedures. GC- and HPLC-based separations of Amadori products are discussed in relation to the type of columns employed and methods of detection. Applications of infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for structural elucidation of Amadori products are also reviewed. In addition, mass spectrometry of free, protected, and protein-bound Amadori products under different ionization conditions are presented. The mechanism of acid/base catalyzed thermal degradation reactions of Amadori compounds, as well as their kinetics of formation, are critically evaluated.