Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Comparison of 2-acetylfuran formation between ribose and glucose in the Maillard reaction.

PMID 19090713


Sugar type is a major factor regulating the reaction rates and pathways in Maillard reaction. Ribose and glucose were used to compare their reactivities and pathways of 2-acetylfuran formation. A stable isotope labeling method was used to study their reactivity. A 1:1 mixture of [(13)C(6)]glucose and unlabeled ribose (or other unlabeled sugar) was reacted with proline at 145 degrees C for 40 min. The reactivity of each sugar was revealed by the ratio of isotopomers. The reactivity of sugars in 2-acetylfuran formation decreased in the order ribose, fructose, glucose, rhamnose, and sucrose. This method simplified the reaction system and the calculation process and gave a direct comparison of reactivity as seen via mass spectrum. The difference between glucose and ribose in 2-acetylfuran formation was that glucose could form 2-acetylfuran directly from cyclization of its intact carbon skeleton, whereas ribose first underwent degradation into fragments before forming a six-carbon unit leading to 2-acetylfuran. In the presence of cysteine, ribose could not generate 2-acetylfuran at a detectable level. When ribose was reacted with glycine, formaldehyde generated from glycine combined with ribose to form 2-acetylfuran. In other amino acids, a symmetric structure of the ribose intermediate was formed, making fragmentation more complicated.