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Old 04-03-2005, 09:58 PM   #1
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Maillard effect

someone explain the maillard effect to me. i know what it is but i don't understand how it works.

also, how do you pronounce "bourguignon"?

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Old 04-03-2005, 10:15 PM   #2
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I pronounce it, boor-ghin-yon.

The Maillard reaction occurs in foods when there are carbohydrate and protein molecules present. Basically, it is the reaction that makes foods turn brown. In fact, it can happen in stored (uncooked) foods but it's much slower. Higher temperatures make it happen faster.

It's what makes meat brown in a hot pan or oven as well as what makes the crust of bread turn brown.

There are more volatile products of the reaction that are responsible for that wonderful aroma that comes along with seared or roasted meats.

That's what I know. If you want a chemistry lesson, I'm afraid I cannot help.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:52 PM   #3
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thanx...

my curiousity stems from what is happening chemically that makes such a dramatic taste difference from basically just carmalization. some fellow gourmands and i were standing around the grill and trying to figure out what happens to proteins and carbs that make them change in flavor. i mean when you go from raw to grilled it's pretty dramatic...

probably too many 50-something ex-hippies trying to over think something that's pretty simple...[we actually got to "oh, wow, man...!" a couple of times].
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:05 AM   #4
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Opening Pandora's box here Andy?

Carmalization is what happens to sugar under heat (above 330-F). The sugar breaks down, molecules recombines, and creates new sugars. Caramel actually has been converted from 1 sugar to about 120 different sugars.

Throw in some proteins, along with the sugars, and you get a Maillard browning reaction. Again, under heat (above 230-F) the proteins and sugars break down, recombine, and create new compounds, and turn brown. But, Maillard reactions is a tree with different branches ... and not easy to explain ... or understand. If you really want to explore Maillard reactions in depth - just google on Maillard Reactions and enjoy the ride! Food scientists have annual conventions to explor and try to understand this.

Foods that brown without heat are mainly a result of enzymes ... a result of the "death and decay" of the food.

You might want to check your local library for a copy of Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen and read the section on Maillard Reactions. Also check out the explaination that Shirley Corriher gives in her book Cookwise.

Now .. outdoor grilled food gets another ingredient ... not only the reactions of the fats and sugars ... but you're also throwing in other chemicals from the smoke!

Next time you and your buds are standing around the grill you can all contemplate the complex miracle of science that is going on as a multitude of chemical reactions are going on to flavor your food!
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cafeandy
probably too many 50-something ex-hippies trying to over think something that's pretty simple...[we actually got to "oh, wow, man...!" a couple of times].
LOL. I can relate!
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I pronounce it, boor-ghin-yon.

The Maillard reaction.
would this reaction also apply to humans sitting in the hot summer sun///
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norgeskog
would this reaction also apply to humans sitting in the hot summer sun///
Actually, it does. I experience the Maillard reaction every year when I go to Aruba.

Interesting that the terminology differs. On the one hand we have searing and on the other hand, we have tanning. (actually, only on the back of the other hand.)
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:13 PM   #8
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A suntan is an enzymatic browning reation of UV light and tyrosinase. Since Malliard browning reactions require a temp of 230-F or more ... it can't really be a Malliard browning reaction.
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
A suntan is an enzymatic browning reation of UV light and tyrosinase. Since Malliard browning reactions require a temp of 230-F or more ... it can't really be a Malliard browning reaction.
Yes, I knew that. Apparantly, my attempt at humor was weaker than I thought!!
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
You might want to check your local library for a copy of Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen and read the section on Maillard Reactions.
I got that book for Christmas, and its fabulous!!!! I thought it would be a bit dry and dull, but it has been so useful.
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