in: Food Biosynthesis, Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu,Alina Maria Holban, Editor, Academic Press , Massachusetts, pp.427-447, 2017
Alpha-keto acids are the deaminated form of amino acids, which have been used in several applications in the medicine, food, and feed industries. In vivo, alpha-keto acids are ketogenic or glucogenic precursors, which regulate protein turnover. Since alpha-keto acids do not have amino groups, substitution of amino acids with their specific alpha-keto acids in the diets helps kidneys and livers to reduce urea accumulation in the body. Additionally, alpha-keto acids are used in animal diets, especially in the poultry industry as a nutrient supplement for environmental and animal growth issues. Moreover, several alpha-keto acids have been reported to be used as flavor enhancers in the food industry. In this review, characteristics, chemical and biological production methods, detection analyses, and the application of various alpha-keto acids are summarized. Furthermore, potential future studies and applications of alpha-keto acids are discussed.