Reduction/Mitigation of Acrylamide Content in Foods
Dr. David Lineback is Senior Fellow and past Director of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) at the University of Maryland at College Park. He is internationally recognized as a carbohydrate chemist and a highly respected food scientist with an extensive academic background. A few of his professional affiliations include: Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT); the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); the Institute of Food Science and Technology [UK] (IFST [UK]), as well as the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST). He is also the recipient of numerous academic and professional awards. Dr. Lineback earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in carbohydrate chemistry from Ohio State University. Below, he shares his insights on the food industry’s mitigation strategies for acrylamide.
Acrylamide is a compound that is formed during the preparation of many common foods, primarily of plant origin, by heating when an amino acid (asparagine), reacts with sugars (fructose or glucose). Scientists and the food industry across the globe are working on mitigation strategies to reduce the acrylamide content in food products where possible. When it comes to reducing acrylamide in the food supply, things that work in a laboratory setting may not apply to broader commercial food production. Strategies that are being explored to reduce the acrylamide content in foods include approaches such as
- Blanching (immerse in hot water for a longer time) before cooking, primarily for potato products
- Reducing the frying or baking time and/or temperature
- Aiming for a light golden color rather than dark brown when cooking (such as French fries, potato chips, toast)
- Using ingredients or starting materials containing less asparagine and/or glucose/fructose
While progress is being made in the reduction of acrylamide, the commercial success has yielded only a limited number of food products with reduced acrylamide content. Reduction must be addressed on a case-by-case basis, as no single method works universally. It is also very important to consider that it is unlikely to reduce acrylamide in a lot of foods without changing the color, flavor or texture of the food which may impact consumer acceptability. Food safety must also be considered when addressing acrylamide reduction, especially when cooking temperatures and times are being explored.
For more insights from from experts on “Exploring the Facts and Myths about Acrylamide,” please click here.