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Melanoidin. A flavorful, highly-colored compound that results from the thermal interaction between the free amino groups (-NH2) of amino acids (q.v.), peptides (q.v.) or proteins (q.v.), and any of free reducing sugars (q.v.) that takes place in the browning reaction (q.v.). Melanoidins are a major source of the aromatic and flavor compounds that are formed in the crust (q.v.) region of bakery products during baking.