Phyterra™ Yeast Inc., a division of Functional Technologies Corp (TSX-V: FEB), has announced initial test results for bread made with Acryleast™, that is its acrylamide-preventing proprietary yeast. Acryleast™ demonstrated acrylamide reductions of approximately 90%, when compared to bread made with standard commercial baker’s yeast. Earlier this year, the company announced it had developed and applied for patents on a new technology that harnessed yeast's natural ability to prevent acrylamide, a known carcinogen formed when starchy foods are baked, fried or toasted. This patent-pending technology has the potential to alleviate a well-recognized and important food safety issue across a variety of widely consumed foods including baked goods, French fries, potato chips, cookies, crackers and baked snacks.
“The results thus far are very positive and should be well received by the baking industry, an industry that is already seeking and testing ways to reduce acrylamide,” said Garth Greenham, President and COO of Functional Technologies. “We will be providing regular updates on the development of this novel technology over the coming months. We anticipate widespread acceptance given yeast’s long history of use in the food industry, its cost-effectiveness and with respect to baking applications, its ease of substitution.”
Additional tests measured the levels of asparagine, the main precursor to acrylamide, remaining in bread dough after several industry-applicable time intervals. After three hours, in replicate testing, dough inoculated with Acryleast™ showed a 99% reduction in asparagine versus an 18.5% reduction for the control dough—made using standard commercial bread yeast. This data is consistent with, and supports, the reduction in acrylamide shown in the initial laboratory baking tests. It is well known that yeast consumes asparagine; Functional’s breakthrough science speeds up this process by rapidly breaking down asparagine into safe compounds prior to acrylamide formation.
Functional Technologies is currently in discussions with yeast production and food processing companies to accelerate development and commercialization of its acrylamide-reducing yeast solution. Given the potential of numerous food applications and the significant volumes of yeast required, the company expects it will be well served to work with either a global strategic partner or multiple regional partners.
All tests were conducted under controlled conditions at the company’s laboratory in Prince Edward Island, Canada. These tests indicate that changes to the bread’s taste, texture and flavor are not expected; however, the company cautions that additional research, product development, trials under industry-relevant conditions and regulatory approvals are required prior to product commercialization.
Acrylamide is a Group 2A carcinogen formed when starchy foods are baked, fried or toasted. Recognized globally and by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a food safety issue since 2002, acrylamide has been found in many widely consumed foods, including bread, cookies, crackers, baby food, breakfast cereal, French fries and potato chips. National food safety regulatory bodies and the food industry have been working seriously on this issue for a number of years, looking for optimal solutions.
More information about acrylamide and Functional’s yeast technology can be found at www.functionaltechcorp.com; refer to the news section for our online acrylamide media kit.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This news release contains forward-looking statements about Functional Technologies and its future plans. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts, and in this news release include the statements as to (1) the potential of Functional’s technology to alleviate acrylamide across a variety of widely consumed foods; and (2) the expected wide acceptance in the baking industry of Functional’s yeast; and (3) that tests indicate that changes to the bread’s taste, texture and flavor are not expected. The forward-looking statements in this news release are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the company’s actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation, uncertainty as to the company’s ability to achieve the goals and satisfy the assumptions of management; uncertainty as to the actual demand for the company’s products and the company’s ability to meet such demand; and other factors that may be beyond the control of the company. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions and expectations of the company’s management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions or expectations, or other circumstances, should change. Reference to the section entitled “Risks and Uncertainties” commencing on page 13 of the company’s management’s discussion and analysis relating to the fiscal quarter ended February 28, 2010, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com