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J Food Sci. 2007 Sep;72(7):E389-98.

Kinetic analysis of volatile formation in milk subjected to pressure-assisted thermal treatments.

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  • 1Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Volatile formation in milk subjected to pressure-assisted thermal processing (PATP) was investigated from a reaction kinetic analysis point of view to illustrate the advantages of this technology. The concentration of 27 volatiles of different chemical class in milk subjected to pressure, temperature, and time treatments was fitted to zero-, 1st-, and 2nd-order chemical reaction models. Temperature and pressure effects on rate constants were analyzed to obtain activation energy (E(a)) and activation volume (deltaV*) values. Hexanal, heptanal, octanal, nonanal, and decanal followed 1st-order kinetics with rate constants characterized by E(a) values decreasing with pressure reflecting negative deltaV* values. Formation of 2-methylpropanal, 2,3-butanedione, and hydrogen sulfide followed zero-order kinetics with rate constants increasing with temperature but with unclear pressure effects. E(a) values for 2-methylpropanal and 2,3-butanedione increased with pressure, that is, deltaV* > 0, whereas values for hydrogen sulfide remained constant, that is, deltaV* = 0. The concentration of all other volatiles, including methanethiol, remained unchanged in pressure-treated samples, suggesting large negative deltaV* values. The concentration of methyl ketones, including 2-pentanone, 2-hexanone, 2-heptanone, 2-octanone, 2-nonanone, 2-decanone, and 2-undecanone, was independent of pressure and pressure-holding time. PATP promoted the formation of few compounds, had no effect on some, and inhibited the formation of volatiles reported to be factors of the consumer rejection of "cooked" milk flavor. The kinetic behavior observed suggested that new reaction formation mechanisms were not likely involved in volatile formation in PATP milk. The application of the Le Chatelier principle frequently used to explain the high quality of pressure-treated foods, often with no supporting experimental evidence, was not necessary.

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