Acrylamide has been linked in animal studies to increased risk of cancer. It is created as a natural by-product of the Maillard reaction between sugar and an amino acid called asparagine when food is subjected to high heat.
Speaking to FoodNavigator at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Expo 2012 in Las Vegas, Flemming Mark Christensen, senior global marketing manager at Novozymes, said: “We have launched two new [acrylamide reduction] applications in the past year, one for coffee and one for French fries. But there’s also work to be done in other categories like potato chips and breakfast cereals.”
Food allergies and intolerances
The company saw considerable future benefits in continuing its use of enzymes to remove potentially harmful substances from food and drink he said. Another area it was looking at was the use of enzymes to counteract food allergies and intolerances, such as lactose intolerance. Novozymes had worked on the use of lipases to produce trans fat free oils, he added.
Food ingredient solutions and premix firm DSM is conducting similar work with enzymes to combat food intolerances, having recently launched its Tolerase L enzyme as a dietary supplement for lactose intolerant consumers. Tolerase L breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose. DSM Nutritional Products has partnered Novozymes in the field of animal feed enzymes.
Christensen said the challenge now was to upscale production of its Acrylaway solution to a mass commercial level. “It’s absolutely feasible. We are in discussions with potential customers on how to implement these technologies.” Novozymes had been conducting trials to that end in the past six months, he said.