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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6180-4. doi: 10.1021/jf073053+. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Impact of harvest year on amino acids and sugars in potatoes and effect on acrylamide formation during frying.

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  • 1Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden.


Acrylamide is formed via the Maillard reaction between reducing sugars and asparagine in a number of carbohydrate-rich foods during heat treatment. High acrylamide levels have been found in potato products processed at high temperatures. To examine the impact of harvest year, information on weather conditions during growth, that is, temperature, precipitation, and light, was collected, together with analytical data on the concentrations of free amino acids and sugars in five potato clones and acrylamide contents in potato chips (commonly known as crisps in Europe). The study was conducted for 3 years (2004-2006). The contents of acrylamide precursors differed between the clones and the three harvest years; the levels of glucose were up to 4.2 times higher in 2006 than in 2004 and 2005, and the levels of fructose were 5.6 times higher, whereas the levels of asparagine varied to different extents. The high levels of sugars in 2006 were probably due to the extreme weather conditions during the growing season, and this was also reflected in acrylamide content that was approximately twice as high as in preceding years. The results indicate that acrylamide formation is dependent not only on the content and relative amounts of sugars and amino acids but also on other factors, for example, the food matrix, which may influence the availability of the reactants to participate in the Maillard reaction.

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