Acrylamide is a chemical known to form in certain foods as a result of high-temperature treatment. Acrylamide forms through the reaction between asparagine, an amino acid naturally present in food, and reducing sugars such as glucose and fructose. The main food groups where acrylamide formation occurs are potato products such as French fries or potato chips, cereal-grain-based foods such as breakfast cereals or crackers, and coffee.
Acrylamide in food is considered a public health concern. To minimize the risk through dietary exposure, efficient strategies are required to reduce its presence in food products.
Enzymes provide an effective and specific way to reduce acrylamide in food. The enzyme asparaginase converts asparagine into aspartic acid, another natural amino acid, thus preventing the formation of acrylamide. c-LEcta has developed an enzyme with unique properties that is perfectly adapted to food production processes involving high temperatures, such as baking, blanching and boiling. With a temperature optimum around 90°C, c-LEcta’s asparaginase reduces acrylamide formation with up to more than 90% in a broad range of foods without impacting their taste or appearance.
The product has been outlicensed on an exclusive basis to Novozymes A/S. The asparaginase has obtained international regulatory approval as a food enzyme and is marketed by Novozymes under the brand name Acrylaway® HighT.