Thursday, June 16, 2011

Acrylamide: brain cancer and how to inhibit its formation?

As already known, several studies have shown that acrylamide is formed in the Mailard reaction, is carsinogenic. However, several epidemiological studies indicate exposure to acrylamide in food products is still too low to worry about. But, however the industry has been doing a lot of prevention, such as by resetting the temperature of the process used. Acrylamide is a carcinogenic compound formed by reaction between sugars and amino acid asparagine at the time of heating. Formation through the Maillard reaction is also responsible for the formation of brown color and flavor to various food products. Acrylamide issue has indeed been a lot of attention.

Acrylamide is not associated with brain cancer?
A study conducted by Maastricht University in the Netherlands concluded that the content of acrylamide in food products has no relationship with an increased risk of brain cancer. Research involving 58,279 men and 62,537 women was conducted considering the acrylamide found in many diet of Dutch society, in a certain level. The study was conducted by distributing questionnaires to estimate the amount of acrylamide consumed. Acrylamide sources were estimated coming from potato crisps, French fries, Dutch spiced cake, coffee, bread, and cookies. The result, after research during several years, obtained 216 respondents were diagnosed with brain cancer. But according to the researchers, it has no relationship with increased intake of acrylamide. The study still needs confirmation from other studies.

Inhibition of acrylamide formation
There are several methods that have been used to avoid the formation of such compounds, including the process modification through temperature regulation. Recently, a new way to inhibit the formation of acrylamide has been found, namely the use of calcium lactate based ingridient. Several companies are developing products that were claimed to reduce acrylamide in snacks to 80% without affecting taste and crispiness. Calcium is present in the ingredients are claimed to interfere with the reaction between reducing sugars and asparagine which is the key to the formation of acrylamide. This product can be widely applied, because it does not require modification of process or temperature. Not even affected by variations in pH or moisture content.

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