John E. Hodge

Last updated
John Edward Hodge
BornOctober 12, 1914
Kansas City, Kansas
DiedJanuary 3, 1996
Peoria, Illinois
Alma materUniversity of Kansas
Known for Maillard reaction pathway
  • Citation Classic - Science Citation Index (1979 for "Chemistry of browning reactions in model systems."
  • National Academy of Scientists - National Research Council (1977)
Scientific career

John Edward Hodge (October 12, 1914 – January 3, 1996) was an American chemist, born in Kansas City, Kansas, best known for establishing the mechanisms in the Maillard reaction pathway.


Early life

Hodge was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1914 to mother Annabelle Hodge and father John Alfred Hodge. He had one younger sister, Dorothy.

His father graduated with a master's in science from Indiana University in 1910, [1] and moved to Kansas City where he worked as a science teacher and principal at the African-American Sumner High School, which the young John Hodge attended. Sumner High School was an built in 1905 in response to Kansas City, Kansas being exempted from Kansas state law prohibiting racially segregated schools, and was to be "as well equipped as the existing Kansas City, KS High School." [2] Despite the school board's emphasis on manual training courses, the high school focused on college preparation and academic excellence. [3]


He gained a Bachelor's of Arts degree in mathematics 1936 and a Master's of Arts degree in organic chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1940. [3] [4] During his time at the University of Kansas, Hodge was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa scholastic society and the Pi Mu Epsilon honorary mathematics organization. [4] Alongside his studies for a Master’s, Hodge taught at Western University, Quindaro and worked as a chemist in the Kansas Department of Inspections. [3]


From 1941 he worked at the recently opened USDA Northern Regional Research Center in Peoria, Illinois until his retirement in 1980. Here he worked on corn starch and other carbohydrates, investigating topics such as D-glucose production. [3] Through this work he became interested in the Maillard reaction, a process where sugars react with amino acids. This reaction is involved in the browning of food during cooking but also the loss of sugar during glucose production from corn wet-milling. [3] Hodge focused on pyrolysis reactions in production of different food flavor and aroma compounds produced through the Maillard reaction. He synthesized Amadori compounds, intermediates in the Maillard reaction. He found that isomaltol, a bakery aroma compound, was produced through a reaction between an Amadori compound reaction and lactose. He also determined the mechanism of maltol production, another baked product flavor and aroma compound. In addition, along with collaborator Friedrick Weygand of the University of Munich, he investigated the formation of reductones. [3]

He taught at Western University (Kansas);, in 1972 held a visiting professorship at the University of Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and in 1984–1985 was an adjunct professor at Bradley University.

An article of his: Hodge, J. E. (1953). "Chemistry of browning reactions in model systems." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 1(15): 928-943 [5] was named a "Citation Classic" by the Science Citation Index in 1979. [6] In it he studied the chemistry of non-enzymatic browning reactions in dehydrated foods, such as the Maillard reaction. The article included a reaction scheme which is known as the "Hodge Scheme": this reaction pathway that he described still holds good today and remains widely cited. [7] It has been suggested it be renamed to the Maillard-Hodge Reaction to reflect his greater contribution than Maillard. [8] [9] His seminal paper on the mechanisms of the Maillard Reaction, "Dehydrated Foods, Chemistry of Browning Reactions in Model Systems" [10] has been cited over 1300 times .

Personal life

Hodge married Beulah Payne, a chemistry student in St. Louis, in 1939. They had one son before Beulah died in 1942. Hodge later married Justina Louise Williams in 1948. [3] He had another son and two daughters with her. [3]

Hodge died of cancer on January 3, 1996, [3] in Peoria, Illinois. [11]


Related Research Articles

Maillard reaction Chemical reaction occurring when roasting, baking, or frying

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Seared steaks, fried dumplings, cookies and other kinds of biscuits, breads, toasted marshmallows, and many other foods undergo this reaction. It is named after French chemist Louis Camille Maillard, who first described it in 1912 while attempting to reproduce biological protein synthesis. The reaction is a form of non-enzymatic browning which typically proceeds rapidly from around 140 to 165 °C. Many recipes call for an oven temperature high enough to ensure that a Maillard reaction occurs. At higher temperatures, caramelization and subsequently pyrolysis become more pronounced.

Molischs test

Molisch's test is a sensitive chemical test, named after Austrian botanist Hans Molisch, for the presence of carbohydrates, based on the dehydration of the carbohydrate by sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid to produce an aldehyde, which condenses with two molecules of a phenol, resulting in a violet ring.

Erythrulose Chemical compound

D-Erythrulose (also known as erythrulose) is a tetrose carbohydrate with the chemical formula C4H8O4. It has one ketone group and so is part of the ketose family. It is used in some self-tanning cosmetics, in general, combined with dihydroxyacetone (DHA).

The Mannich reaction is an organic reaction which consists of an amino alkylation of an acidic proton placed next to a carbonyl functional group by formaldehyde and a primary or secondary amine or ammonia. The final product is a β-amino-carbonyl compound also known as a Mannich base. Reactions between aldimines and α-methylene carbonyls are also considered Mannich reactions because these imines form between amines and aldehydes. The reaction is named after chemist Carl Mannich.

Louis Camille Maillard

Louis Camille Maillard was a French physician and chemist. He made important contributions to the study of kidney disorders. He also became known for the "Maillard reaction", the chemical reaction which he described in 1912, by which amino acids and sugars react in foods via contact with fats, giving a browned, flavorful surface to everything from bread and seared steaks to toasted marshmallows.

Robert Arnold Alberty was born in Winfield, Kansas, on June 21, 1921, the eldest son of teachers. He) was an American biophysical chemist, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Glucosepane Chemical compound

Glucosepane is a lysine-arginine protein cross-linking product and advanced glycation end product (AGE) derived from D-glucose. It is an irreversible, covalent cross-link product that has been found to make intermolecular and intramolecular cross-links in the collagen of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and crystallin of the eyes. Covalent protein cross-links irreversibly link proteins together in the ECM of tissues. Glucosepane is present in human tissues at levels 10 to 1000 times higher than any other cross-linking AGE, and is currently considered to be the most important cross-linking AGE.

The Amadori rearrangement is an organic reaction describing the acid or base catalyzed isomerization or rearrangement reaction of the N-glycoside of an aldose or the glycosylamine to the corresponding 1-amino-1-deoxy-ketose. The reaction is important in carbohydrate chemistry, specifically the glycation of hemoglobin.

2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline Chemical compound

2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) is an aroma compound and flavor that gives freshly baked bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice, the spice pandan, and bread flowers their customary smell. Many observers describe the smell as similar to "hot, buttered popcorn", and it is credited for lending this odor to the scent of binturong (bearcat) urine. Fresh marking fluid (MF) and urine of the tiger and Indian leopard also have a strong aroma due to 2AP.

6-Acetyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine Chemical compound

6-Acetyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine, is an aroma compound and flavor that gives baked goods such as white bread, popcorn, and tortillas their typical smell, together with its structural homolog 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.

Alkylpyrazines are chemical compounds based on pyrazine with different substitution patterns. Some alkylpyrazines are naturally occurring highly aromatic substances which often have a very low odor threshold and contribute to the taste and aroma of various foods including cocoa, baked goods, coffee and wines. Alkylpyrazines are also formed during the cooking of some foods via Maillard reactions.

Damascenone Chemical compound

Damascenones are a series of closely related chemical compounds that are components of a variety of essential oils. The damascenones belong to a family of chemicals known as rose ketones, which also includes damascones and ionones. beta-Damascenone is a major contributor to the aroma of roses, despite its very low concentration, and is an important fragrance chemical used in perfumery.

Edward M. Burgess

Edward Meredith Burgess was an American chemist. He specialized in organic chemistry with an emphasis on methodology, structure, and photochemistry. He is best known for the Burgess reagent that is used for selective dehydration of alcohols.

Food physical chemistry is considered to be a branch of Food chemistry concerned with the study of both physical and chemical interactions in foods in terms of physical and chemical principles applied to food systems, as well as the applications of physical/chemical techniques and instrumentation for the study of foods. This field encompasses the "physiochemical principles of the reactions and conversions that occur during the manufacture, handling, and storage of foods"

Robert J. Ferrier

Robert John "Robin" Ferrier FRSNZ, FNZIC, was an organic chemist who discovered two chemical reactions, the Ferrier rearrangement and the Ferrier carbocyclization. Originally from Edinburgh, he moved to Wellington, New Zealand, in 1970.

Argpyrimidine Chemical compound

Argpyrimidine is an organic compound with the chemical formula C11H18N4O3. It is an advanced glycation end-product formed from arginine and methylglyoxal through the Maillard reaction. Argpyrimidine has been studied for its food chemistry purposes and its potential involvement in aging diseases and Diabetes Mellius.

Hydroxyacetone Chemical compound

Hydroxyacetone, also known as acetol, is the organic chemical with the formula CH3C(O)CH2OH. It consists of a primary alcohol substituent on acetone. It is an α-hydroxyketone, also called a ketol, and is the simplest hydroxy ketone structure. It is a colorless, distillable liquid.

Beer chemistry Brewery science and beer chemical composition

The chemical compounds in beer give it a distinctive taste, smell and appearance. The majority of compounds in beer come from the metabolic activities of plants and yeast and so are covered by the fields of biochemistry and organic chemistry. The main exception is that beer contains over 90% water and the mineral ions in the water (hardness) can have a significant effect upon the taste.

Corn sauce

Corn sauce or fermented corn sauce is produced by fermentation using corn starch as the primary substrate. It is used as a food condiment and ingredient, both in paste and in powder form. Corn sauce, like soy sauce, has a characteristic savory taste. It is used to flavor dishes including soups, broths, and gravies.


  1. University, Indiana (1911). Register of the Graduates of Indiana University. Indiana University.
  2. "Sumner High School · Education: The Mightiest Weapon · KU Libraries Exhibits". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry. Academic Press. 1998-08-19. ISBN   978-0-08-056312-1.
  4. 1 2 Gordon, Jacob U. (2004). The Black Male in White America. Nova Publishers. ISBN   978-1-59033-757-8.
  5. Hodge, J. E. (1953). "Dehydrated Foods, Chemistry of Browning Reactions in Model Systems". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 1 (15): 928–943. doi:10.1021/jf60015a004.
  6. "This Week's Citation Classic" (PDF). Current Contents. 12. 1979-03-19. Theories of browning reactions, including carbonyl-amino, caramelization, and oxidative types, are integrated in review. A unified mechanism for browning in sugaramine systems is presented, wherein sugaramine condensation, the Amadori rearrangement, sugar dehydration by β-elimination reactions, and reductone formation are shown to be important intermediary reactions leading to the production of brown pigments in cooked and dehydrated foods.
  7. Zhang, Qibin; Ames, Jennifer M.; Smith, Richard D.; Baynes, John W.; Metz, Thomas O. (2009-02-06). "A Perspective on the Maillard Reaction and the Analysis of Protein Glycation by Mass Spectrometry: Probing the Pathogenesis of Chronic Disease". Journal of Proteome Research. 8 (2): 754–769. doi:10.1021/pr800858h. ISSN   1535-3893. PMC   2642649 . PMID   19093874.
  8. Sarah Everts. "The Maillard Reaction Turns 100 | October 1, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 40 | Chemical & Engineering News". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  9. Eschner, Kat. "Why Food Smells So Good When It's Browning". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  10. Hodge, J. E. (1953-10-01). "Dehydrated Foods, Chemistry of Browning Reactions in Model Systems". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 1 (15): 928–943. doi:10.1021/jf60015a004. ISSN   0021-8561.
  11. "John Edward Hodge". Kansas City Star. 7 January 1996.