Effects of carnosine on volatile generation from maillard reaction of ribose and cysteine

Yong Chen, Chi Tang Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Carnosine occurs naturally in meat and meat products in significant quantity, and it possesses strong antioxidant activity that inhibits lipid oxidation and enhances shelf life. In this study, the effects of carnosine on thermal flavor generation were investigated using the model system of cysteine and ribose, which was heated to the roasting temperature of 180 °C for 2 h at pH 5 and pH 8.5. The results indicated that carnosine affected volatile formation in a complex manner. Volatiles identified from the liquid phase of the reaction systems of ribose and cysteine showed that the sulfur-containing compounds such as thiophenes, thiazoles, and polysulfides were the most abundant compounds. The addition of carnosine into the reaction mixtures in general caused a reduction in contents of thiophenes and some important meaty flavor compounds such as 2-methyl-3-furanthiol, 2-furfurylthiol, and their associated dimers. On the other hand, it facilitated the generation of several important nitrogen-containing volatiles such as pyrazine, methylpyrazine, 2,6-dimethylpyrazine, and other alkyl pyrazines and thiazoles, which are known to elicit roasty and nutty flavor notes. The results suggested that carnosine acts as a nitrogenous source to facilitate the formation of nitrogen-containing compounds, possibly by degradation to form ammonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2372-2376
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 10 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Carnosine
  • Cysteine
  • Flavor generation
  • Maillard reaction
  • Ribose


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