Acrylamide Formation

July 21/Portici, Italy/Food Business Week -- "Lipid oxidation is one of the major chemical reactions occurring during food processing or storage and may have a strong impact on the final quality of foods. A significant role of carbonyl compounds derived from lipid oxidation in acrylamide formation has been recently proposed," investigators in Portici, Italy, report.

"In this work, the effect of lipid oxidation level on acrylamide formation was investigated by thermal treatment of differently formulated fat-rich model systems. Lipid oxidation positively influenced the formation of acrylamide. The effect was more evident in sugar-free systems where lipids become the main sources of carbonyls. Catechins reduced acrylamide formation presumably by trapping carbohydrates and/or preventing lipid oxidation. More acrylamide was formed in model systems composed with sunflower oil than in those containing palm oil, which is less susceptible to oxidation. In systems containing higher amount of water, acrylamide formation was delayed due to evaporative cooling. In these systems, the effect of catechin was more pronounced and the effect of lipid oxidation became detectable only after a prolonged reaction time," wrote E. Capuano and colleagues, University of Naples.

The researchers concluded, "These findings suggested that lipid oxidation could become a relevant factor for acrylamide formation, particularly for dry foods with low carbohydrate content."

Capuano and colleagues published their study in Food Research International ("Lipid Oxidation Promotes Acrylamide Formation in Fat-rich Model Systems." Food Research International, 2010;43(4):1021-1026).

For additional information, contact V. Fogliano, University of Naples Federico 2, Dipartimento Science Alimenti, Via University 100, Parco Gussone, Ed 84, Portici, Italy.

From the August 2, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition