alexa Gas chromatographic determination and mechanism of formation of D-amino acids occurring in fermented and roasted cocoa beans, cocoa powder, chocolate and cocoa shell.
Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques

Author(s): Ptzold R, Brckner H

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Abstract Fermented cocoa beans of various countries of origin (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sulawesi), cocoa beans roasted under defined conditions (100-150 degrees C; 30-120 min), low and high fat cocoa powder, various brands of chocolate, and cocoa shells were analyzed for their contents of free L-and D-amino acids. Amino acids were isolated from defatted products using a cation exchanger and converted into volatile N(O)-pentafluoropropionyl amino acid 2-propyl esters which were analyzed by enantioselective gas chromatography mass spectrometry on a Chirasil-L-Val capillary column. Besides common protein L-amino acids low amounts of D-amino acids were detected in fermented cocoa beans. Quantities of D-amino acids increased on heating. On roasting cocoa beans of the Forastero type from the Ivory Coast at 150 degrees C for 2 h, relative quantities of D-amino acids approached 17.0\% D-Ala, 11.7\% D-Ile, 11.1\% D-Asx (Asp + Asn), 7.9\% D-Tyr, 5.8\% D-Ser, 4.8\% D-Leu, 4.3\% D-Phe, 37.0\% D-Pro, and 1.2\% D-Val. In cocoa powder and chocolate relative quantities amounted to 14.5\% D-Ala, 10.6\% D-Tyr, 9.8\% D-Phe, 8.1\% L-Asx, and 7.2\% D-Ile. Lower quantities of other D-amino acids were also detected. In order to corroborate our hypothesis that D-amino acids are generated from Amadori compounds (fructose amino acids) formed in the course of the Maillard reaction, fructose-L-phenylalanine and fructose-D-phenylalanine were synthesized and heated at 200 degrees C for 5-60 min. Already after 5 min release of 11.7\% D-Phe and 11.8\% L-Phe in the free form could be analyzed. Based on the data a racemization mechanism is presented founded on the intermediate and reversible formation of an amino acid carbanion in the Amadori compounds. This article was published in Amino Acids and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques

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