Printer Friendly

Cracking the code of corn chip aroma.

Cracking the code of corn chip aroma

Heating, baking, roasting or toasting foods creates and liberates a menagerie of volatile flavor chemicals. A person's taste experience emerges from a complex interplay of food chemistry and sensory physiology. During studies of how two compounds -- methyl amine, a somewhat fishy-smelling gas at room temperature, and diacetyl, which smells like butter -- react to form new flavor chemicals, Thomas H. Parliment at the General Foods Technical Center in Tarrytown, N.Y., noticed the unmistakable aroma of toasted corn. "People started walking into the lab asking for some corn chips," he recalls.

He set out to identify the chemical responsible for the aroma. Earlier this month, at the Sixth International Flavor Conference held on the Greek island of Crete, Parliment reported that the reaction product, 2-methylimino-3-butanone, is responsible for the intense corn chip/cereal aroma and that it shares chemical features of other cereal-like flavor compounds such as 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which gives the crust of wheat bread its aroma. Parliment holds a U.S. patent on both the corn chip flavor compound and a way to make it.

To isolate the identity the compound, he sent the reaction products through a gas chromatograph, which separates a mixture's components so that each can be further analyzed and identified without interference from the others. By following the noses of fellow General Foods employees, Parliment succeeded in isolating the gas chromatographic fraction containing the corn essence. Elucidating the chemical's structure then came easily. One potential application could be to enhance the aroma of snack products that might not be heated long enough during processing to form their own tasty-corn flavor compounds.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Chemistry
Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 29, 1989
Previous Article:DNA takes the stand.
Next Article:Cold fusion gets a brusin' from DOE.

Related Articles
Salty snacks.
Coring improves frozen corn on the cob.
Optimize the Maillard reaction.
Eau, Brother!
Relate cheddar cheese flavor to chemical components.
Aging impacts aroma of final beer product.
Micronutrient fortification has little impact on properties of nixtamal corn tortillas.
New in-mold coatings said to surpass gel coats.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters