Effect of grilling as processing method on Zea mays (corn) metabolites composition as analyzed via SPME GC-MS and chemometrics

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Chemistry Department

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Mohamed A. Farag; Naglaa M. Ammar; Abdel Nasser El Gendy; Engy Mohsen

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Food Processing and Preservation

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Zea mays L. is a worldwide economical crop that is used as a food for man or as animal fodder owing to its rich nutritive composition. Despite being extensively studied, grilling effect on corn flavor and chemistry has yet to be reported. Impact of grilling at different degrees, light grilled corn (LGC) versus heavy grilled corn (HGC) on metabolite profile of Z. mays was assessed in this study using a holistic approach via SPME GC-MS and multivariate data analysis. A total of 39 volatiles were identified post-grilling to encompass pyrazines, phenols, pyrroles, furans, and aldehydes, with pyrazines likely to mediate for its flavor present as major constituents (80.9% in HGC vs. 68.4% in LGC). GC-MS was further utilized to localize nutrients (viz., sugars, sugar alcohols, fatty acids, and organic acids) revealing that HGC is enriched in sugar 89.5% concurrent with lower organic acid levels imparting a sweetless acidulated taste. Practical applications: This study presents the first approach utilizing SPME and GC-MS to characterize the grilling impact as a processing method on corn metabolome as analyzed using chemometric tools. The study rationalize for corn improved taste and flavor upon grilling based on detailed chemical analyses.

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