The Danish-based enzyme specialists revealed that a 35 to 50% reduction in the formation of acrylamide has been demonstrated in industrial scale trials using its Acrylaway enzyme technology.
“I’m excited that the new data confirms the effectiveness of Acrylaway in French fries production,” said Anders Espe Kristensen, business development & marketing director for Novozymes Food & Beverages.
“The food industry cares about food safety and acrylamide,” Kristensen added. “The demand for healthier food is a global issue.”
He revealed that the new data backs the use of Acrylaway – which has approval for use in North America, and most of Asia and Europe – for the industrial prevention of acrylamide “in even more product categories.”
Acrylamide is a suspected carcinogen that is formed during by heat-induced reaction between sugar and an amino acid called asparagine. Known as the Maillard reaction, this process is responsible for the brown colour and tasty flavour of baked, fried and toasted foods.
Despite being a carcinogen in the laboratory, many epidemiological studies have reported that everyday exposure to acrylamide in food is too low to be of concern.
The compound first hit the headlines in 2002, when scientists at the Swedish Food Administration first reported unexpectedly high levels of acrylamide in carbohydrate-rich foods.
Since the Swedish discovery a global effort has been underway to amass data about this chemical. More than 200 research projects have been initiated around the world and their findings co-ordinated by national governments, the EU and the United Nations.
Novozymes explained that their Acrylaway specifically modifies asparagine, whilst other amino acids and sugars remain active to contribute to the Maillard reaction – so preserving the taste and appearance of the final product.
Initially launched in 2007, Acrylaway traditionally targeted the biscuits and snacks market, however as food manufacturers around the globe showed an active interest for other uses, Novozymes has completed work to assure the efficacy of the product in other areas, including coffee and now French fries.
“In the case of French fries, we have now demonstrated that our solution works effectively on an industrial scale,” said Kristensen. “We are already collaborating with the industry and working with them to implement our solution.”