Formation of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furancarboxaldehyde (HMF) was studied kinetically by HPLC in blood orange juice and model systems of fructose, glucose and sucrose at different acidic pHvalues and temperatures.The ultraviolet absorption of the solutions changes during reaction by forming an enediol intermediate, which slowly converts into HMF. Pseudo first order rate coefficients were used for comparing reactivity of sugars in model systems and in fortified juices. Glucose degrades much more slowly than fructose, while the reactivity of su- crose depends on pH value and temperature.The activation energy for sucrose was about 20 kcal mol-1higher than fructose, and such a difference can be ascribed to the rate-determining contribution of the preliminary hydrolysis step. First order rate coefficients in orange juices were similar to those ofmodel systems at comparable pHand temperature, indicating that su- gar degradation occurs without any interference of other components, thus excluding the pre- sence of the Maillard's reaction. HMF content constitutes an index of juice deterioration, therefore it should be included among the parameters of quality for commercial blood orange juices.
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