The effect of four mercapto flavor compounds (1,2-ethanedithiol, 1-butanethiol, 2-methyl-3-furanthiol, and 2-furanmethanethiol) on acrylamide elimination were investigated in model systems. The obtained results showed that mercaptans assayed were effective in elimination arylamide in a model system. Their reactivities for decreasing acrylamide content depended on mercaptan’s molecular structure and acrylamide disappearance decreased in the following order: 1,2-ethanedithiol > 2-methyl-3-furanthiol > 1-butanethiol > 2-furanmethanethiol. Mercaptans were added to acrylamide to produce the corresponding 3-(alkylthio) propionamides. This reaction was irreversible and only trace amounts of acrylamide were formed by thermal heating of 3-(alkylthio) propanamide. Although a large amount disappeared, only part of the acrylamide conversed into 3-(alkylthio) propionamides. All of these results constitute a fundamental proof of the complexity of the reactions involved in the removal of free acrylamide in foods. This implies mercapto flavor/aroma may directly or indirectly reduce the level of acrylamide in food processing. This study could be regarded as a pioneer contribution on acrylamide elimination in a model system by the addition of mercapto flavor compounds.
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