Thermal treatment is a key step during infant formula (IF) processing which causes protein glycation and formation of dietary advanced glycation end-products (dAGEs). This study aimed to evaluate the glycation degree in IF in relation to the ingredients of the formula. dAGEs concentrations have been determined by UPLC-MS/MS in a range of commercial cow-based, goat-based, and soy-based IF. Results indicated that the protein source, protein composition, and amount and type of carbohydrates determines the level of protein glycation in IFs. The investigated soy-based formula had significant higher concentrations of arginine and arginine-derived dAGEs than cow-based and goat-based formulas. IF containing hydrolyzed proteins had higher dAGEs concentrations than those containing intact proteins. Lactose-containing formula was more prone to glycation than those containing sucrose and maltodextrin. Data showed glycation degree in IF cannot be estimated by a single compound, but the complete picture of the dAGEs should be considered.
- Maillard reaction
- Plant-based milk
- Protein glycation
- Thermal processing contaminants