Novozymes announces the launch of Acrylaway® HighT, the first thermostable solution that reduces acrylamide levels in breakfast cereals and other food products that are typically processed at very high temperatures. The new solution was also announced as the winner of the 2013 FIE Snacks/On-The-Go Innovation of the Year award.
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. The development of a so-lution applicable to food products manufactured at higher temperatures means that even more food manufacturers can lower acrylamide levels in even more product categories.
Reducing acrylamide across even more product categories
“Acrylaway HighT is the first solution specifically designed for use in food products processed at very high temperatures,” says Emmanuel Michelot, Novozymes’ business development manager for food, “Food producers now have the possibility to use our asparaginase technology at higher temperatures than was previously possibly, and breakfast cereals are a potential application area.”
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. Tests show that Acrylaway HighT effectively reduces acrylamide levels by at least 50 percent 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,” explains Michelot.
The food industry cares about acrylamide reduction
Novozymes first introduced the asparaginase Acrylaway in 2007, and the solution is used today industrially in more than 30 countries in a wide range of consumer products such as biscuits, snacks, French fries, and coffee.
Announcements made this month by both the European Union and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 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 FDA issued a draft guidance which 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.
“The food industry cares about food safety and acrylamide, and we're working with many of the industry players globally. We believe that winning the 2013 FIE Snacks/On-The-Go Inno-vation of the Year award on our launch day is evidence that such innovations are truly wel-comed and appreciated by the industry,” concludes Michelot. “Most of all, we’re excited that Acrylaway HighT means that new product categories, such a breakfast cereals, can benefit from our acrylamide reduction technology.”