alpha-Keto acids. 1

The alpha-keto acids produced by aminotransferase activity are relatively unstable and do not accumulate in cheese but are rather degraded via a range of pathways. Taking tyrosine as an example, its alpha-keto acid (p-hydroxy phenylpyruvate) can be degraded by 2-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases to the corresponding hydroxy acid (p-hydroxy phenyl lactate). Other pathways of degradation of alpha-keto acids include decarboxylations and chemical degradations forming other volatile flavour compounds, which will be discussed in future posts.