Acrylamide is a carcinogen discovered by Swedish scientists in 2002, and resulting from the cooking process of fried and baked foods their distinctive flavour and brown colour. The attention that has been given to this chemical, and strategies for manufacturers to reduce its levels, would well make Vitiva’s new angle for its Inolens4 and Synerox 4 rosemary extracts timely.
The company explained that one way in which acrylamide can build up in the cooking process is the Maillard reaction between carbohydrates, free asparaginase, and reduced sugar molecules, which takes place when a food is baked or fried.
The other, it says, is altered fractions of oils and nitrogen containing compounds. The Slovenian company has already established a following for its rosemary ingredients in protecting fats and oils from rancidity and extending shelf-life.
The latest set of tests it has conducted are said to show that the acrylamide levels in fried foods can be reduced by up to 95 per cent when the extracts are added to the frying oils. The full methodology and findings have not been seen by FoodNavigator.com, and the publication status of the study is not known.
Nonetheless, Vitiva CEO Ohad Cohen called the results “outstanding”, and “good news for the food industry”.
“Our formulations tackle acrylamide formation without any influence on organoleptic characteristics of the frying oil or the final product.”
The past year has seen considerable attention to acrylamide-reducing solutions – especially asparaginase enzymes.
Both DSM and Novozymes have launched enzymes for this purpose, called Preventase and Acrymaway respectively. They have both received regulatory approval in key markets such as Europe and the US, and are progressing towards roll-out to other parts of the world.
Significantly, the asparaginase option has been included in the CIAA’s (Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU) acrylamide toolkit, which gives the industry a number of potential solutions.
The original toolbox was launched in 2005 and was updated last year. European countries are reporting on the level of acrylamide in foods sold in their markets, but it is said to be too soon to see the full effect of the toolbox on levels of the carcinogen.
Other recent published research in the acrylamide-reducing area has included the role of yeast, and the addition of L-cysteine, glycine and L-lysine.