Model studies on the oxygen-induced formation of benzaldehyde from phenylacetaldehyde using pyrolysis GC-MS and FTIR.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 26; 56(22):10697-704.JA
Benzaldehyde, a potent aroma chemical of bitter almond, can also be formed thermally from phenylalanine and may contribute to the formation of off-aroma. To identify the precursors involved in its generation during Maillard reaction, various model systems containing phenylalanine, phenylpyruvic acid, phenethylamine, or phenylacetaldehyde were studied in the presence and absence of moisture using oxidative and nonoxidative Py-GC-MS. Analysis of the data indicated that phenylacetaldehyde, the Strecker aldehyde of phenylalanine, is the most effective precursor and that both air and water significantly enhanced the rate of benzaldehyde formation from phenylacetaldehyde. Phenylpyruvic acid was the most efficient precursor under nonoxidative conditions. Phenethylamine, on the other hand, needed the presence of a carbonyl compound to generate benzaldehyde only under oxidative conditions. On the basis of the results obtained, a free radical initiated oxidative cleavage of the carbon-carbon double bond of the enolized phenylacetaldehyde was proposed as a possible major mechanism for benzaldehyde formation, and supporting evidence was provided through monitoring of the evolution of the benzaldehyde band from heated phenylacetaldehyde in the presence and absence of 1,1'-azobis(cyclohexanecarbonitrile) on the ATR crystal of an FTIR spectrophotometer. In the presence of the free radical initiator, the enol band of the phenylacetaldehyde centered at 1684 cm(-1) formed and increased over time, and after 18 min of heating time the benzaldehyde band centered at 1697 cm(-1) formed and increased at the expense of the enol band of phenylacetaldehyde, indicating a precursor product relationship.