4-Methylimidazole (4-MeI or 4-MEI) is a heterocyclic organic chemical compound with molecular formula H 3C–C 3H 3N 2 or C 4H 6N 2. It is formally derived from imidazole through replacement of the hydrogen in position 4 by a methyl group. It is a slightly yellowish solid. 4-MeI may be formed in the browning of certain foods through the Maillard reaction between carbohydrates and amino-containing compounds. In particular, it is found in roasted foods, grilled meats, coffee and in types of caramel coloring produced with ammonia-based processes. It may arise also by fermentation.
Appearance & Physical State
Slightly yellow solid.
Store in a tightly closed container. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances.