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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 30;52(13):4282-8.

Acrylamide in gingerbread: critical factors for formation and possible ways for reduction.

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Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland.


The influence of ingredients, additives, and process conditions on acrylamide formation in gingerbread was investigated. The sources for reducing sugars and free asparagine were identified, and the effect of different baking agents on acrylamide formation was evaluated. Ammonium hydrogencarbonate strongly enhanced acrylamide formation, but its N atom was not incorporated into acrylamide, nor did acrylic acid form acrylamide in gingerbread. Acrylamide concentration and browning intensity both increased with baking time and correlated with each other. The use of sodium hydrogencarbonate as baking agent reduced the acrylamide concentration by >60%. Free asparagine was a limiting factor for acrylamide formation, but the acrylamide content could also be lowered by replacing reducing sugars with sucrose or by adding organic acids. It is concluded that a significant reduction of acrylamide in gingerbread can be achieved by using sodium hydrogencarbonate as baking agent, minimizing free asparagine, and avoiding prolonged baking.

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