Flavor loss in dairy products has been associated with enzymatic degradation by xanthine oxidase. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of milk thermal processing conditions (or xanthine oxidase inactivation) on benzaldehyde stability. Benzaldehyde was added to whole milk which had been thermally processed at 4 levels: (1) none or raw, (2) high temperature, short time (HTST) pasteurization, (3) HTST pasteurization, additionally heated to 100°C (PAH), and (4) UHT sterilized. Additionally, PAH and UHT milk samples containing benzaldehyde (with and without ferrous sulfate) were spiked with xanthine oxidase. Azide was added as an antimicrobial agent (one additional pasteurized sample without) and the microbial load (total plate count) was determined on d 0, 2, and 6. The concentration of benzaldehyde and benzoic acid in all milk samples were determined at d 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6 (stored at 5°C) by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in selective ion monitory mode. Over the 6-d storage period, more than 80% of the benzaldehyde content was converted (oxidized) to benzoic acid in raw and pasteurized milk, whereas no change in the benzaldehyde concentration was found in PAH or UHT milk samples. Furthermore, the addition of xanthine oxidase or xanthine oxidase plus ferrous sulfate to PAH or UHT milk samples did not result in benzaldehyde degradation over the storage period.
- Flavor degradation
- Thermal processing