Acrylamide reduction: DeutscheBack’s new enzyme system cuts carcinogen in baking process

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15 Jun 2018 --- Baking ingredient specialist DeutscheBack has created a new enzyme system to reduce acrylamide in biscuits, wafers, bread and rolls. Keeping pace with the newly-introduced European Union legislation that came into effect in April, the member of the independent, owner-managed Stern-Wywiol Gruppe in Hamburg has come up with an innovative solution to help eliminate the potentially carcinogenic chemical compound.

According to DeutscheBack, Innovase ASP DP offers manufacturers of bakery products an enzyme system that inhibits acrylamide formation in the baking process and a simple dosing makes the new solution easier for bakers to use than enzyme concentrates. It also enables adherence to the statutory tolerances for acrylamide without extra work, the company says.

“Innovase ASP DP has been particularly designed for small and medium-sized bakeries to enable them to remain below the benchmark levels for acrylamide,” Dr. Lutz Popper, Head R & D and Martina Mollenhauer, Product Manager tells FoodIngredientsFirst

“The main reason is improved handling in bakeries: concentrated enzymes cannot be used in bakeries without prior premixing. The adjusted dosage now is about 0.5-2 percent on flour, instead of 0.003-0.0125 percent.”

Acrylamide forms naturally during high-temperature cooking and processing, such as frying, roasting and baking. It is not possible to eliminate acrylamide from foods, but actions can be taken to try to ensure that acrylamide levels are as low as reasonably achievable.

It can be a potentially carcinogenic substance that occurs in roasted, baked, fried or deep-fried foods containing starch. These include bakery products, in particular biscuits, crackers and wafers, but also white and mixed loaves baked with a dark crust.

Just a couple of months ago, Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 took effect. This aims to establish best practice, mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food.

The regulation specifies acrylamide tolerances for the different product groups and prescribes measures to reduce acrylamide levels in the industrial processing of products containing starch, such as flour, potatoes and coffee.

“The EU legislation sets benchmark levels of acrylamide for various bakery goods and will be monitoring the actual levels for three years,” adds Dr. Popper. “Asparaginase as part of the mandatory mitigation strategy will help – and in some cases be necessary – to remain below the benchmark levels.”

“Currently there is a lot of uncertainty on how to fulfill the legal requirements. Our customers appreciate that we are providing them with information on strategies for reduction of acrylamide, beyond the addition of our enzymatic solution, e.g., recipes and baking process parameters.”

Under the new rules, food business operators are expected to be aware of acrylamide as a food safety hazard and have a general understanding of how it is formed in the food they produce, take the necessary steps to mitigate acrylamide formation and adopt the relevant measures as part of their food safety management procedures. 

In addition, company’s should also carry out sampling and analysis where appropriate and keep records of the mitigation measures undertaken, together with sampling plans and results of any testing.

Acrylamide is most likely to form when the amino acid asparagine reacts with glucose at temperatures above 120°C. 

With Innovase ASP DP, DeutscheBack offers an enzyme system that modifies asparagine early in the baking process so that acrylamide cannot form in this way, thus making it possible to reduce the acrylamide content of bakery products by as much as 90 percent, says DeutscheBack.

At a usage level of 0.2-2 percent, the enzyme system is more accessible to add than conventional enzyme concentrates that are dosed at a concentration of only a few grams to 100kg of flour and therefore necessitate time-consuming weighing or pre-mixing. 

Innovase ASP DP provides optimal assurance that bakers’ products conform to the specified tolerances.

Last year DeutscheBack launched an innovative solution to keep baked goods fresher for longer, TopSweet Fresh Cake Plus V for rich cake and shortcrust pastry batters. 

This enzyme system improves freshness preservation of the crumb and keeps packaged cakes and baked goods soft and moist longer. The longer-lasting crumb softness boosts the profitability of baked goods.

By Gaynor Selby

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