Antioxidant activity of Maillard reaction products.
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The use of natural antioxidants to improve the oxidative stability of food lipids has received special attention because of the worldwide trend to avoid the use of synthetic food additives. A wide range of natural sources has been shown to contain antioxidant properties, these include plant extracts, herbs and spices, citrus fruits, oilseeds and legumes. Some antioxidants have been found to be fonned during the heat processing of foods, including the Maillard reaction products that are formed by the reaction of amino acids, peptides and proteins with reducing carbohydrates. A study was undertaken to investigate the antioxidant activity of Maillard reaction products fonned during extrusion of soyabeans. A preliminary oxidation study carried out to identify a suitable substrate revealed that sunflower oil stripped of antioxidants was a suitable substrate with a low induction period of 15 minutes via the Rancimat Method and 4.5 hours via the method of Ross and de Muelenaere. Methyllinoleate was found to be sensitive to oxidation, but not readily available and costly. Storage test of antioxidant stripped sunflower oil under various headspace conditions showed that the substrate stability was best at 4°C under nitrogen or vacuum. Under such conditions the product could be stored for a period of 136 days. Nitrogen was chosen as the most suitable for this exercise as it was not easy to remove all residual air from the samples by vacuum. Furthermore with nitrogen headspace residual 02 could be measured based on Ni02 ratio changes. Hexane solvent was found to be able to remove all lipids from soyabeans. Under the experimental conditions practised it was found that the induction periods for extruded and unextruded soya flour hexane extracted lipids were very similar. Addition of glucose or fructose to the extrusion mixture increased induction period of hexane extracted lipids by 37.5% and 1.5% respectively as measured by the Ross and de Muelenaere method and by 50% and 6.5% respectively as measured by the Rancimat Method. Available lysine of glucose containing extrudate was reduced by 69% while that of the fructose containing extrudate was reduced by 23%. Residual glucose and fructose analysis of extrudates showed that 66% of glucose was utilized in the formation of the Maillard reaction products while only 21% of fructose was utilized during extrusion processing. Comparison of induction periods of soya glucose and soya fructose extrudates to induction period of TBHQ antioxidants (200ppm) in antioxidant stripped sunflower oil gave antioxidant activity of 86ppm and 9ppm for soya glucose extrudates and soya fructose extrudates respectively. The observed antioxidant activity of Maillard reaction products could be utilized with success in different types of processed foods without the need for extensive testing as required for synthetic antioxidants but supplementation of lysine may be required to maintain nutritional balance.