Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Modified peptides as indicators for thermal and nonthermal reactions in processed milk.

PMID 25329723


Site-specific relative quantification of β-lactoglobulin modifications in heated milk and dairy products was performed to determine their thermal and nonthermal origins and to evaluate marker candidates for milk processing. Therefore, formation kinetics of 19 different structures at 26 binding sites were analyzed by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with multiple reaction monitoring (UHPLC-MS/MS/MRM) after specific protein hydrolysis. The results indicate that (i) site-specific analysis of lactulosyllysine may be a more sensitive marker for mild heat treatment than its overall content; (ii) N(ε)-carboxymethyllysine, N-terminal ketoamide, and asparagine deamidation are of thermal origin and may be good markers for rather intensive heat treatment, whereas N(ε)-carboxyethyllysine reflects thermal and nonthermal processes; (iii) the relevance of methylglyoxal-derived arginine modifications is low compared to that of other modifications; (iv) oxidation of methionine and cysteine is a rather weak indicator of thermal impact; and (v) the tryptophan modifications formylkynurenine and kynurenine are of nonthermal origin and further degraded during processing.