BACKGROUND: Marinating meat with alcohol, such as wine and beer, is a common culinary practice in cultures worldwide. In this study we use a model marination solution comprising 0.2 mol L −1 glucose–0.2 mol L −1 glycine buffered to pH 4.3 containing either 0 or 50% ethanol and mimicked the cooking process by heating for 12 h. Antioxidative and antimutagenic characteristics of Maillard reaction products (MRPs) were investigated. Reducing power, antioxidant activity (ferrous ion chelating ability), and free radical neutralization ability generated from 1,1-diphenyl-2-pichrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) were determined. Ames testing was performed. RESULTS: Results indicate that MRPs from aqueous and alcoholic solution exhibit four antioxidative assays in a dose-dependent manner from 0.16 to 10.00 mg mL −1 . However, MRPs from the alcoholic model were superior. In Ames testing, MRPs from both models are neither toxic nor mutagenic at the test concentrations of 0.63–10.00 mg/plate. However, MRPs from the alcoholic model exhibited a higher inhibitory effect on the direct-acting mutagen 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide compared with the aqueous model. This result is consistent with the observation that MRPs with higher antioxidative capacity exhibit superior antimutagenic activity, suggesting that there are more different products in the alcoholic model. CONCLUSION: Our results add to the current knowledge about the antioxidative and antimutagenic properties of MRPs arising when food is cooked in the presence of ethanol.
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