Molecular products from the thermal degradation of glutamic acid

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The thermal behavior of glutamic acid was investigated in N2 and 4% O2 in N2 under flow reactor conditions at a constant residence time of 0.2 s, within a total pyrolysis time of 3 min at 1 atm. The identification of the main pyrolysis products has been reported. Accordingly, the principal products for pyrolysis in order of decreasing abundance were succinimide, pyrrole, acetonitrile, and 2-pyrrolidone. For oxidative pyrolysis, the main products were succinimide, propiolactone, ethanol, and hydrogen cyanide. Whereas benzene, toluene, and a few low molecular weight hydrocarbons (propene, propane, 1-butene, and 2-butene) were detected during pyrolysis, no polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected. Oxidative pyrolysis yielded low molecular weight hydrocarbon products in trace amounts. The mechanistic channels describing the formation of the major product succinimide have been explored. The detection of succinimide (major product) and maleimide (minor product) from the thermal decomposition of glutamic acid has been reported for the first time in this study. Toxicological implications of some reaction products (HCN, acetonitrile, and acyrolnitrile), which are believed to form during heat treatment of food, tobacco burning, and drug processing, have been discussed in relation to the thermal degradation of glutamic acid.

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Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

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