Novozymes launches Acrylaway HighT, a thermostable solution that reduces acrylamide levels in breakfast cereals and other food products that are typically processed at very high temperatures.
The solution was announced as the winner of the 2013 Food Ingredients Europe Snacks/On-The-Go Innovation of the Year award.
The company says acrylamide is a chemical compound naturally formed in some food types when baked, fried, toasted or roasted and is considered to be a potential health risk.
It adds that the development of a solution applicable to food products manufactured at higher temperatures means that even more food manufacturers can lower acrylamide levels in even more product categories.
The main mechanism for acrylamide formation involves the amino acid asparagine.
Through a cascade of reactions during the toasting or baking of breakfast cereals, asparagine is converted into acrylamide during a process called the Maillard reaction that is responsible for color and flavor developments.
Acrylaway HighT converts asparagine into another naturally occurring amino acid, aspartic acid.
As a result, asparagine is no longer available to form acrylamide.
Novozymes says tests show that Acrylaway HighT effectively reduces acrylamide levels by at least 50% in a broad range of breakfast cereal products.
“As Acrylaway HighT specifically modifies asparagine, the other amino acids and sugars remain active to contribute to the Maillard reaction. This means that the great taste and appearance of the final product is preserved, so we expect treated products to enjoy the same high consumer acceptance as before,” says the company’s business development for food Emmanuel Michelot.
The company first introduced the asparaginase Acrylaway in 2007, which is used today industrially in more than 30 countries in consumer products such as biscuits, snacks, fries and coffee.
Announcements made on November 2013 by both the European Union and the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) support the continuous concern about acrylamide.
The European Commission updated the levels that should prompt investigation into the levels of acrylamide in food, and made specific reference to acrylamide levels found in breakfast cereals.
The US FDA issued a draft guidance that recommends that companies be aware of the levels of acrylamide in the foods they produce and consider adopting approaches that reduce acrylamide in their products.