Proudlove in his book the Science and Technology of Food (pg 45) describes the Maillard Reaction as follows:
“ a brown colouration which is produced when a solution of glucose is heated with amino acid glycine. This reaction between the amnion group (NH2) of a protein or amino acid and the aldehyde group of a reducing sugar is called the Maillard reaction.”
In simpler terms, the Maillard Reaction is defined by Jenny Ridgwell in “ Food Science You Can Eat” (pg 10) as
“ a chemical reaction between amino acids found in proteins and sugars in foods”.
Either way, pupils who study the new Food Preparation and Nutrition curriculum need to know about it. After reading “ The Science Of Cooking” by Peter Barham (in particular page 88) I have been inspired to do the following experiment as a Food Investigation Task with my food pupils.
Perhaps, you would like to give it a go too!!!!
Food Investigation Task
To investigate how the browning reactions (Maillard Reaction) when cooking meat is affected by the temperature used.
Cut a piece of steak into 8 small equally sized pieces.
Put a baking tray into the oven and allow it to heat up.
Cook each piece of meat at the following temperature and time.
|100 degrees Celsius||12 minutes|
|120 degrees Celsius||9.5 minutes|
|140 degrees Celsius||8 minutes|
|160 degrees Celsius||7 minutes|
|180 degrees Celsius||6 minutes|
|200 degrees Celsius||5.5 minutes|
|220 degrees Celsius||5 minutes|
|240 degrees Celsius||4 minutes|
Each piece of steak should be the same size.
Each piece of steak should be cooked by the same cooking method (the oven in this case).
An oven thermometer ensures that the temperature is accurate.
Meat that is cooked below the temperature of 130 degrees Celsius should have very little flavour.
Meaty flavours should develop at temperatures between 140 and 180 degrees Celsius. The flavour will develop more quickly if you increase the surface are of the meat by cutting it into small pieces.
|100 degrees Celsius||12 minutes||
|120 degrees Celsius||9.5 minutes||
|140 degrees Celsius||8 minutes||
|160 degrees Celsius||7 minutes||
|180 degrees Celsius||6 minutes||
|200 degrees Celsius||5.5 minutes||
|220 degrees Celsius||5 minutes||
|240 degrees Celsius||4 minutes||