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Determination of Added Sulfites in Dried Garlic with a Modified Version of the Optimized Monier-Williams Method

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The optimized Monier-Williams method is slightly modified so that it could be applied for determining sulfite content in dried garlic. Dried garlic sample is directly acidified in a reactor at a pH below 3. At this pH level, the alliinase enzyme activity is irreversibly blocked, and the sulfur-containing amino acids such as alliin (the most abundant) present in dried garlic cannot be transformed into corresponding thiosulfinates such as allicin, which is absent in dried garlic. This prevents allicin from reacting with added sulfites and being probably converted to S-allyl thiosulfate, which is not volatile and has no taste. It is found that at a pH below 2.4 and at boiling water temperature, alliin produces sulfur dioxide in adequate quantity to explain the false-positive results when utilizing the optimized Monier-Williams method with allicin suppression for unsulfited dried garlic samples. Finally, when garlic samples are stabilized in a phosphoric acid buffer at a final pH around 2.4, no sulfite is produced during the Monier-Williams distillation, which is further proof there are no naturally occurring sulfites in unsulfited dried garlic under these mild conditions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: McCormick France, Central Analysis Laboratory, 999 Avenue des Marchs, 84200 Carpentras, France.

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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