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The Maillard Reaction: What It Is and Why It Matters

The Maillard Reaction: What It Is and Why It Matters

The Washington Post

Part of the confusion about Maillard — named after a French chemist who first described the phenomenon — is that it’s often called the browning reaction, but it’s only one type of browning, says Joseph Provost, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at the University of San Diego who co-wrote “The Science of Cooking: Understanding the Biology and Chemistry Behind Food and Cooking.” In Maillard, sugars (more on that below) interact with the amino acids of proteins, creating a cascade of new flavors and aroma compounds, with several hundred possibilities.

 

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