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    This study describes, for the first time, the role of pipecolic acid betaine and pipecolic acid, naturally present in some foods, in the formation of the plant growth regulator N,N-dimethylpiperidinium (mepiquat) under dry thermal conditions. The formation of mepiquat and intermediate compounds was investigated in model systems using high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Mepiquat is released with a yield of up to 0.66mol% after thermal treatment (>150°C) of pipecolic acid betaine. Similar conversion rates are attained with the congener piperidine-2-carboxylic acid (dl-pipecolic acid), albeit in the presence of alkylating agents, such as choline, glycine betaine or trigonelline, that are fairly widespread in food crops. These new pathways to mepiquat indicate that the occurrence of low levels of this thermally induced compound is probably more widespread in processed foods than initially suspected (see Part 2 of this study on the occurrence of mepiquat in selected foodstuffs). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Yuan Yuan, Adrienne Tarres, Thomas Bessaire, Richard H Stadler, Thierry Delatour. Heat-induced formation of mepiquat by decarboxylation of pipecolic acid and its betaine derivative. Part 1: Model system studies. Food chemistry. 2017 Jul 15;227:173-178

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    PMID: 28274419

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