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The Formation of Methyl Ketones during Lipid Oxidation at Elevated Temperatures

Grebenteuch, Sandra; Kanzler, Clemens; Klaußnitzer, Stefan; Kroh, Lothar W.; Rohn, Sascha

FG Lebensmittelchemie und Analytik

Lipid oxidation and the resulting volatile organic compounds are the main reasons for a loss of food quality. In addition to typical compounds, such as alkanes, aldehydes and alcohols, methyl ketones like heptan-2-one, are repeatedly described as aroma-active substances in various foods. However, it is not yet clear from which precursors methyl ketones are formed and what influence amino compounds have on the formation mechanism. In this study, the formation of methyl ketones in selected food-relevant fats and oils, as well as in model systems with linoleic acid or pure secondary degradation products (alka-2,4-dienals, alken-2-als, hexanal, and 2-butyloct-2-enal), has been investigated. Elevated temperatures were chosen for simulating processing conditions such as baking, frying, or deep-frying. Up to seven methyl ketones in milk fat, vegetable oils, and selected model systems have been determined using static headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). This study showed that methyl ketones are tertiary lipid oxidation products, as they are derived from secondary degradation products such as deca-2,4-dienal and oct-2-enal. The study further showed that the position of the double bond in the precursor compound determines the chain length of the methyl ketone and that amino compounds promote the formation of methyl ketones to a different degree. These compounds influence the profile of the products formed. As food naturally contains lipids as well as amino compounds, the proposed pathways are relevant for the formation of aroma-active methyl ketones in food.