What is the Maillard reaction and who discovered it?

Oh, those chemistry majors. The “Maillard reaction” refers to the chemical changes that occur when you make toast.

The name honors L. C. Maillard, the French chemist who in 1912 first discovered that bread’s starches and sugars caramelize into intense new flavors when toasted.

Other foods can occur in many other foods including, Biscuit, Malted barley as in malt whiskey or beer, Onions, Roasted or seared meat, Dried or condensed milk, Roasted coffee, and Dulce de leche.

Maillard browning or the Maillard reaction is an entirely different process from Caramelization. The Maillard reaction involves amino acids, while caramelization is simply the pyrolysis of sugars.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment