DSM extends use of enzymatic acrylamide-reduction for baked goods

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10 Jul 2018 --- Global awareness of acrylamide is on the rise. In response to this, DSM has launched PreventASe XR, an enzymatic solution that prevents the formation of acrylamide in high-pH applications such as corn chips, biscuits, and crackers. PreventASe is positioned as a trusted acrylamide-reduction solution proven to reduce acrylamide in processed foods by up to 95 percent. While PreventASe is suitable for a broad range of applications, the new PreventASe XR is optimized for higher-pH applications. 

In April, new EU acrylamide legislation came into force concerning the amount of acrylamide in foods with “benchmark” levels being set for various products. The law was initially passed last year but only came in recently to allow time for manufacturers to examine and reduce acrylamide levels in products closely.

The legislation describes practical measures based upon best practice guidelines developed by the food industry to mitigate acrylamide formation in a range of foods.

The introduction of the new EU regulation concerning acrylamide levels in food has given added impetus for manufacturers to mitigate the substance in their products.

Due to the suspected toxicity of the substance, acrylamide levels in food have been monitored for years and subject to debate and discussion. Acrylamide is a suspected carcinogenic substance formed in foods containing reducing sugars which are processed at a high temperature.

Food manufacturers are acting fast to reduce acrylamide in their products, but face challenges in delivering acrylamide-reduced versions of their products with the same taste and texture that their consumers know and trust. DSM’s PreventASe and PreventASe XR are asparaginases that convert free asparagine present in many foods, thereby preventing the formation of acrylamide without impacting taste, texture or shelf-life. 

Fokke van den Berg, Business Director Baking at DSM Food Specialties tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “Acrylamide reduction has been a focus area for the industry for some time now, but a new regulation in the EU has given acrylamide reduction efforts much more focus and urgency in recent months. We also see that consumer awareness about acrylamide is on the rise due to increased media coverage in the US, UK and Europe, which means the issue is really heating up this year.”

“With the issue of acrylamide reduction gaining attention globally, this is certainly a focus area for us at DSM. We expect to continue innovating in this area, and working with our customers to address acrylamide. With broad application knowledge and enzymes expertise, we are proud to help contribute to healthier products for people around the world,” he notes. 

“The challenge for us in developing PreventASe XR was in finding the enzyme which could be very effective in higher-pH applications. It took us several years to find and develop this asparaginase,” van den Berg adds. 

“The global conversation about acrylamide is heating up, and DSM is working with our customers to address this challenge for the food industry. An advantage of using asparaginase to tackle acrylamide is it requires negligible changes to a product recipe or production process. With PreventASe and now PreventASe XR, DSM is enabling acrylamide reduction in the widest range of snacks and baked goods.”

Manufacturers face challenges in reducing acrylamide levels in applications that contain ingredients like chemical leavening agents or masa (corn which has undergone a lime treatment) such as savory crackers, biscuits, tortilla chips, and corn chips, and are therefore more alkaline (up to pH 9). A higher-pH can limit the effectiveness of asparaginases currently available on the market. PreventASe XR is ideal for more alkaline applications, delivering significant reductions in acrylamide levels of up to 95 percent, depending on the application.

By Elizabeth Green

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