PhD Oral Defense of Paula Vanessa Guerra Quiroz, Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry
The interaction of carbonyl moieties with free amino groups initiates one of the most important chemical transformations in food, the Maillard reaction. Among the most reactive structures produced in this reaction, the 1,2-dicarbonyl moieties have a special role interacting with amino acids through the Strecker reaction to generate α-amino carbonyls, aldehydes and heterocyclic compounds, many of them aroma-active. Numerous studies have shown the interaction of a single amino acid with a 1,2-dicarbonyl moiety, however no systematic studies have been reported on the ability of these α-dicarbonyls to undergo multiple addition reactions with amino acids, the type of products generated, or alternative routes for their generation. The identification of other pathways generating similar products could be considered valuable methods of introducing them into the heated foods, while the understanding of multiple addition reactions may provide a better insight into detailed chemical transformations occurring in food.