Pet Food Industry News

Pet Food Industry News

November 25, 2022

Shock! What is the Maillard reaction that most pet owners don't know about?

Shock! What is the Maillard reaction that most pet owners don't know about?

Maillard reaction is a reaction between carbonyl compounds (especially reducing sugars) and amino compounds such as amines, amino acids, peptides, proteins, etc. The flavor substances produced mainly include oxygen-containing compounds, nitrogen-containing compounds, and sulfur-containing heterocycles. Compounds also include sulfur-containing heterocyclic furans and nitrogen-containing heterocyclic pyrazines, some of which can make food have a charming aroma and have an attractant effect. Both thermal reaction and prolonged fermentation can promote the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction process can be divided into three stages: the initial stage, the middle stage and the final stage, and each stage can be subdivided into several reactions. Different meat flavors can be produced by controlling the raw materials and reaction conditions of the Maillard reaction, and the quality of meat flavors based on the Maillard reaction is generally better.


Application of Maillard Reaction in Pet Food Processing

1. Extrusion puffing

Extrusion puffing is to put the material in the state of high temperature and high pressure of the extruder, and then release it to normal temperature and pressure, so that the material changes in the properties of the material such as starch gelatinization, protein denaturation, fat, starch and protein compounding, etc. The production line uses extrusion technology to mature the mixed raw materials, making the product easier to digest and more suitable for pets. The main types of pet food are all related to the extrusion and puffing process. Puffing is the core part of pet food processing, and the high temperature and high pressure process will be accompanied by the occurrence of Maillard reaction. At the same time, the special aroma produced by the Maillard reaction improves the palatability of the product.

2. Spray drying

Powdered food attractants, nutritional enhancers and functional additives are mostly spray-dried, and the products obtained by this processing method are generally only used as natural food additives, and are rarely fed directly to pets. The air inlet temperature of spray drying production is generally 160~200°C, and the hot air drops to 75~95°C after contacting the material. The whole process has a short high temperature process, so the Maillard reaction is also short, and the reaction is usually low. Usually In this case, the Maillard reaction will be carried out during the preparation process before spray drying to achieve the ideal full reaction degree.


3. Microwave drying and vacuum microwave drying

When traditional baked food is processed, it is cooked under high temperature heating, and the Maillard reaction is promoted to produce color and aroma. With the development of processing technology, food processed by microwave ovens is highly recognized by processing enterprises for its novelty, fastness, practicality and simplicity. However, microwave heating is different from conventional heating. The surface temperature of the food surface is lower than that of the interior due to the loss of heat energy, and the internal moisture moves outward. The surface temperature of the food is low and the moisture content is high. This technology is suitable for the processing of thin-layer products, preferably flakes, which can evenly heat the inside and outside of the material. If the food attractant is produced, it needs to be pulverized before adding it to pet food.

Vacuum microwave drying technology is the same as the drying principle under normal pressure, but because the evaporation temperature of water in vacuum state is lower than that under normal pressure, the whole drying process is carried out at a lower temperature. The characteristic of this technology is that the product can be Form a porous structure, have better solubility, rehydration and taste, and because it is carried out under low temperature conditions, it reduces the damage of high temperature to the ingredients.

In addition, due to the rapid heating of microwave drying and the low temperature of vacuum microwave drying, it is not conducive to the progress of Maillard reaction, so that the Maillard reaction that requires high temperature and time development may not be properly produced, resulting in microwave heating. Insufficient browning, weakened flavor and other shortcomings limit the development of microwave baked food. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct in-depth research in this area to provide a theoretical basis for the development of microwave food.

4. Hot air drying

Pet snack products such as dried pet meat, dried leather and dried fruit are mostly dried and processed by hot air. This production method has the characteristics of large processing volume and simple production process, but it consumes a lot of energy and has low energy utilization. The heat of electric heating or steam heats and dries the material indirectly to reduce the moisture content to about 10% (usually below 10%), so as to meet the quality assurance requirements of pet food. In order to meet the moisture requirements and maintain the color of the material, this process generally takes a long time. Due to the relatively low temperature (50~70°C) drying, the Maillard reaction is only a low temperature reaction, and on the surface of the material, it causes the aroma and color of the product inside and outside. The difference is large.

Application of Maillard Reaction in Pet Food Flavor

Pet flavors are nutrients based on stimulating pets' sense of smell, taste, nerves and other organs. According to the different types of pets, their living environment, physiological characteristics, receptors and transmission media are different, and combined with different types of pet food, they are specially made into liquid, powder, paste and other material forms. Pet flavors include beef, chicken, cheese and fish. At present, most of these flavoring agents are produced by Maillard reaction to produce fragrance, taste and color. Most of them use animal leftovers and wastes to make pet flavors through enzymatic hydrolysis and Maillard reaction. It not only improves the utilization rate of animal waste, but also increases the value.


There are a large number of research reports on the preparation of meat-flavored reactants by using the Maillard reaction:

Song Shiqing et al. used five different beef enzymatic hydrolyzates to prepare beef aroma through thermal reaction. After scientific evaluation, it was determined that the beef enzymatic hydrolyzate with a hydrolysis degree of 29.13% was the most suitable flavor precursor for imparting beef flavor. Xia Lingjun et al. prepared beef flavor by Maillard reaction, and obtained a beef flavor formula with good flavor. Huang Shirong et al. used reducing sugars and amino acids to prepare chicken-flavored flavors with better aromas through the Maillard reaction. An Guangjie et al. used chicken skeleton enzymatic hydrolyzate to prepare chicken flavor essence through Maillard reaction. Ren Yanyan et al. used prawn shrimp heads as raw materials to carry out enzymatic hydrolysis and then Maillard reaction, and obtained shrimp-flavored spices with strong shrimp flavor. Zu Daohai et al. used Spanish mackerel hydrolyzate to carry out Maillard reaction to prepare sea crab flavor essence. Liu Anjun et al. used the enzymatic hydrolysis solution of hairtail leftovers as the reaction base liquid, added some amino acids and reducing sugars to carry out the Maillard reaction, and obtained the Maillard reaction liquid as a reddish-brown clear liquid with a typical hairtail aroma, without bitterness and sulfides. taste and other bad smell. Wu Shuang used gluten hydrolyzate to produce meat flavor through Maillard reaction.

Tai'an Chaotai Pet Products Co., Ltd.

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