Two types of thiamine (vitamin B1) salts, thiamine mononitrate (TMN) and thiamine chloride hydrochloride (TClHCl), are used to enrich and fortify food products. Both of these thiamine salt forms are sensitive to heat, alkali, oxygen, and radiation, but differences in stability between them have been noted. It was hypothesized that stability differences between the two thiamine salts could be explained by differences in solubility, solution pH, and activation energies for degradation. This study directly compared the stabilities of TMN and TClHCl in solution over time by documenting the impact of concentration and storage temperature on thiamine degradation and calculating reaction kinetics. Solutions were prepared containing five concentrations of each thiamine salt (1, 5, 10, 20, and 27 mg/mL), and three additional concentrations of TClHCl: 100, 300, and 500 mg/mL. Samples were stored at 25, 40, 60, 70, and 80 °C for up to 6 months. Degradation was quantified over time by high-performance liquid chromatography, and percent thiamine remaining was used to calculate reaction kinetics. First-order reaction kinetics were found for both TMN and TClHCl. TMN degraded significantly faster than TClHCl at all concentrations and temperatures. For example, in 27 mg/mL solutions after 5 days at 80 °C, only 32% of TMN remained compared to 94% of TClHCl. Activation energies and solution pHs were 21–25 kcal/mol and pH 5.36–6.96 for TMN and 21–32 kcal/mol and pH 1.12–3.59 for TClHCl. TClHCl degradation products had much greater sensory contributions than TMN degradation products, including intense color change and potent aromas, even with considerably less measured vitamin loss. Different peak patterns were present in HPLC chromatograms between TMN and TClHCl, indicating different degradation pathways and products. The stability of essential vitamins in foods is important, even more so when degradation contributes to sensory changes, and this study provides a direct comparison of the stability of the two thiamine salts used to fortify foods in environments relevant to the processing and shelf-life of many foods.


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Chemical stability and reaction kinetics of two thiamine salts (thiamine mononitrate and thiamine chloride hydrochloride) in solution AL Voelker, J Miller, CA Running, LS Taylor, LJ Mauer Food research international 112, 443-456 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.06.056


Thiamine, Vitamin B1, Chemical stability, Degradation, Reaction kinetics, Activation energy, pH, Sensory, Thiamine mononitrate, Thiamine chloride hydrochloride

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