Multiresponse modelling of the caramelisation reaction

Mafalda Quintas, Carla Guimarães, João Baylina, Teresa R. S. Brandão, Cristina L. M. Silva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Multiresponse modelling is a powerful tool for studying complex kinetics of reactions occurring in food products. This modelling technique uses information of reactants and products involved, allowing insightful kinetic parameters estimation and helping in clarifying reaction mechanisms. One example of a complex reaction that occurs in food processing is the caramelisation reaction. Caramelisation is the common name for a group of reactions observed when carbohydrates are exposed to high temperatures. The objective of this work was to apply multiresponse regression in developing a mathematical mechanistic model that describes sucrose thermal degradation and caramelisation products formation in highly concentrated sucrose solutions, with different water contents and under various temperatures. Results demonstrated the usefulness of multiresponse modelling in understanding reaction mechanisms in food matrices. A mechanistic model for the caramelisation reaction was proposed, which successfully described the experimental data of concentrated solutions in the 30.03 to 12.20% (w/w) water content range. Furthermore, good predictions of temperature and water content effects were achieved. For extremely low water content systems (3.58% (w/w)), the proposed mechanistic model failed to describe experimental data, indicating different reaction pathways. Industrial relevance: Caramelisation is one reaction occurring during heat treatment in high sugar content food products. Understanding the mechanism of caramelisation reaction and the effect of the environmental conditions on different reaction steps may help in the design of products and processes, in order to prevent or promote such occurrence. This work also uses an advanced modelling technique that can be used in any food system for any reaction occurring during processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-315
Number of pages10
JournalInnovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • Caramelisation reaction
  • Kinetic parameters
  • Multiresponse modelling
  • Sucrose thermal degradation


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