The Maillard Reaction: A Taste of Food Chemistry

“How come we never learned anything practical in high school?”

He placed his steak knife parallel to a grill line and began to cut along the blackened indentation atop his expertly-seared steak. In between bites, he chugged from his beer obnoxiously.

“For instance, I NEVER use chemistry,” he continued. His train of thought was interrupted by the promise of dessert as the delicious sweetness of a freshly-baked apple pie and a large pot of coffee were brought to the middle of the table.

A food scientist would immediately identify the irony at this cookout: Grilled steak, baked delicacies, beer, and coffee are all made possible through a chemical reaction called the “Maillard reaction.” Continue reading “The Maillard Reaction: A Taste of Food Chemistry”