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Plant Biotechnol J. 2008 Oct;6(8):843-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2008.00363.x. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Low-acrylamide French fries and potato chips.

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Simplot Plant Sciences, JR Simplot Company, Boise, ID 83706, USA.

Erratum in

  • Plant Biotechnol J. 2008 Oct;6(8):854.


Acrylamide is produced in starchy foods that are baked, roasted or fried at high temperatures. Concerns about the potential health issues associated with the dietary intake of this reactive compound led us to reduce the accumulation of asparagine, one of its main precursors, in the tubers of potato (Solanum tuberosum). This metabolic change was accomplished by silencing two asparagine synthetase genes through 'all-native DNA' transformation. Glasshouse-grown tubers of the transformed intragenic plants contained up to 20-fold reduced levels of free asparagine. This metabolic change coincided with a small increase in the formation of glutamine and did not affect tuber shape or yield. Heat-processed products derived from the low-asparagine tubers were also indistinguishable from their untransformed counterparts in terms of sensory characteristics. However, both French fries and potato chips accumulated as little as 5% of the acrylamide present in wild-type controls. Given the important role of processed potato products in the modern Western diet, a replacement of current varieties with intragenic potatoes could reduce the average daily intake of acrylamide by almost one-third.

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