Acrylamide - Articles and news items
Industry news • 16 March 2016 • Victoria White
The FSAI has published the results of a Total Diet Study carried out to assess the dietary exposure to a number of chemicals that may pose a risk to health…
Industry news • 6 November 2015 • Victoria White
The company’s AR yeast strains have been found to reduce acrylamide in a variety of food products by degrading the precursor compound asparagine…
Industry news • 4 November 2015 • Victoria White
The FSA has been working with the food industry to reduce levels of acrylamide in processed foods and have long-standing advice to consumers on how to minimise the risks when cooking at home…
Issue 5 2015 • 28 October 2015 • Diane Benford, Head of Risk Assessment at the UK Food Standards Agency / Peter Fürst, Director of the Chemical and Veterinary Analytical Institute in Münster / Luisa Ramos Bordajandi Scientific Officer, Unit on Biological Hazards and Contaminants, EFSA
Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally forms in starchy food products during every-day high-temperature cooking, such as frying, baking, roasting and also industrial processing usually above 120°C and low moisture. In view of the known toxic effects, the discovery of its presence in certain foods stimulated new research studies on its toxicity, on the influence of processing on the acrylamide levels in food, and on possible mitigation measures. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has performed a risk assessment concluding that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups.
Industry news • 4 June 2015 • Victoria White
Experts from EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain have reconfirmed that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer…
Industry news • 2 July 2014 • The European Food Safety Authority
EFSA has confirmed previous evaluations that, based on animal studies, acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups…
Issue 3 2012 • 4 July 2012 • Monica Anese, Department of Food Science, University of Udine
The discovery in 2002 that cooking of various foods at high temperature (exceeding 100°C) results in the formation of high levels of acrylamide1 has caused considerable concern because this compound has been classified as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer2. In fact, acrylamide levels ranging from a few micrograms to some milligrams per kilogram have been found in many staple foods, such as potato derivatives (potato chips, French fries, etc.), bakery products (bread crust, crisp bread, biscuits, crackers, breakfast cereals, etc.), roasted coffee and cocoa3,4. Maillard-type reactions, i.e. involving the presence of reducing sugars (e.g. glucose and fructose) and the amino acid asparagine, have been shown as one of the major reaction pathways of acrylamide formation5,6.
Since the development of the desired sensory properties (colour, flavour, texture) of heated foods is due to the development of the Maillard reaction products, it is very difficult to minimise acrylamide formation without compromising the food sensory acceptability.
Extensive studies in rodents and other laboratory animals have provided evidence that exposure to acrylamide causes cellular damage in both the nervous and reproductive systems, and produces tumours in certain hormonally responsive tissues2.
Issue 3 2011 • 7 July 2011 • Raquel Medeiros Vinci, Frédéric Mestdagh & Bruno De Meulenaer. NutriFOODchem Unit, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University
In 2002, The Swedish National Food Administration reported relevant amounts of acrylamide in several carbohydrate rich foods when baked at high temperatures (> 120°C) upon frying, baking and roasting. Toxicological studies demonstrated the carcinogenicity of acrylamide in animals and thus indicated potential health risks for humans. Consequently, in 1994, the IARC evaluated acrylamide as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)1 (IARC, 1994). Even though the risks associated with the carcinogenicity of acrylamide intake in humans still present some uncertainties2, this contaminant is present at quite high levels in many food products consumed daily. Because of this, it is essential to evaluate the ‘margin of exposure’ (MOE) for acrylamide, which represents the ratio between a particular point on the dose–response curve leading to tumours in experimental animals and the human intake.
Issue 2 2011 • 13 May 2011 • Vegard H. Segtnan and Svein H. Knutsen, Nofima AS, The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research
Acrylamide is considered a potential carcinogen and is present at elevated concentrations in different types of heat-treated foods. It is formed during baking, frying and roasting of raw materials from plant origin, particularly potatoes and cereals. Acrylamide is one of the reaction products in the Maillard reaction between the acrylamide precursors, amino acids and reducing sugars. A high natural level of acrylamide precursors and the specific processing conditions, mainly short frying at high temperatures between 160 and 190°C, put potato crisps in the group of food products with the highest level of acrylamide.
Issue 2 2006, Past issues • 23 May 2006 • Dipl.-LM-Ing.Achim Claus, Prof. Dr. Reinhold Carle and PD Dr.Andreas Schieber, University of Hohenheim, Institute of Food Technology, Section Plant Foodstuff Technology
Acrylamide is a food-borne toxicant mainly present in roasted, baked and deep-fried foods. To minimise acrylamide levels in bakery products, a comprehensive knowledge of the factors affecting its formation is indispensable. Based on this knowledge technological strategies may be developed.
Due to the potential carcinogenic properties of acrylamide1 the announcement of the Swedish National Food Authority and the University of Stockholm in April 2002 regarding findings of acrylamide in foodstuff initiated intense and rapid research efforts. Early investigations on the reaction pathways associated with the formation of acrylamide were continued by studies concerning its noxious effects. Besides metabolism and toxicology2,3, ways to minimise its levels in heat treated products are the subject of current studies.While efficient strategies for the reduction of acrylamide levels in potato products have been developed, bakery products are still a neglected field. This is quite surprising, considering that the consumption of French fries and potato chips is much lower than bakery products such as bread and bread rolls. In Germany per capita consumption of bakery products amounted to 86.3 kg in 2005, which is equivalent to an average daily intake of 236 g4. Thus, bakery products contribute approximately 25 per cent of the total acrylamide intake via the diet5. From this data it becomes evident that food pattern largely influences dietary intake of acrylamide. Since continuous intake of low acrylamide levels present in staple foods might even be more harmful than occasional consumption of food containing higher amounts, strategies solely considering highly contaminated food commodities will fail to reduce health risks. This article therefore provides a brief review of the occurrence of acrylamide in bakery products and includes recommendations for minimising its levels.
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