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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2005;561:317-28.

Factors that influence the acrylamide content of heated foods.

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Department of Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


Our finding that acrylamide is formed during heating of food initiated a range of studies on the formation of acrylamide. The present paper summarizes our follow-up studies on the characterization of parameters that influence the formation and degradation of acrylamide in heated foods. The system designed and used for studies of the influence of added factors was primarily homogenized potato heated in an oven. The net content of acrylamide after heating was examined with regard to the following parameters: heating temperature, duration of heating, pH and concentrations of various components. Higher temperature (200 degrees C) combined with prolonged heating led to reduced levels of acrylamide, due to elimination/degradation processes. At certain concentrations, the presence of asparagine or monosaccharides (in particular fructose, glucose and glyceraldehyde) was found to increase the net content of acrylamide. Addition of other free amino acids or a protein-rich food component strongly reduced the acrylamide content, probably by promoting competing reactions and/or covalently binding of formed acrylamide. The pH-dependence of acrylamide formation exhibited a maximum around pH 8; lower pH enhanced elimination and decelerated formation of acrylamide. In contrast, the effects of additions of antioxidants or peroxides on acrylamide content were not significant. The acrylamide content of heated foods is the net result of complex reactions leading to both the formation and elimination/degradation of this molecule.

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