The INTERNATIONAL MAILLARD REACTION SOCIETY was established in 2005 in response to a growing recognition of the role reactive carbonyl compounds play in food technology, nutrition and tissue aging in biology and medicine. The “Carbonyl Paradox” tells us that carbonyls are both necessary for flavor enhancement in foods and biological reactions, but can also lead to toxic compounds in foods and biological systems. While “oxidant stress” has long been recognized to play an important role in biological systems, it is only recently that “carbonyl stress” has been found to play an equally important role in biology and medicine. Moreover, there is an intimate interplay between oxidative and carbonyl reactions, both of which contribute to damage to sugars, proteins, lipids, vitamins and DNA in foods and biological systems.

Thus reactive carbonyls now touch every aspect of food science, biology and medicine. Efforts to counteract the damage caused by these species are gaining acceptance as a basis for novel therapeutic approaches, and the fields of food technology and preventive medicine are experiencing an upsurge of interest in strategies to minimize the unwanted effects of the Maillard reaction.

Statement of Purpose

IMARS goals are to foster a balanced approach to understanding both the advantageous and deleterious properties of carbonyl compounds and their end products in food science, technology and medicine. IMARS also supports and encourages the transfer of basic and applied knowledge to the health professions in Academia and Industry. The activities of the Society include: organizing conferences and workshops; interacting with public, private and industrial funding organizations; educating policy makers and program planners; educating health professionals; and informing the news media and the public of issues of importance to the organization.