The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop a new analytical method for acrylamide in foods that is faster, easier, and cheaper than the current methods, and to use this method for monitoring acrylamide in deep-fat fried foods in which different frying techniques will be assessed in order to minimize the generation of acrylamide in the food.
The project involves the development and evaluation of a rapid, inexpensive, and effective method to determine acrylamide levels in fried foods. The new method will use direct sample introduction (DSI) in low pressure gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LP-GC/MS-MS) to speed the analysis immensely without affecting quality of the identification. In situ chemical derivatization will also be tested if needed, and results will be compared with the more expensive and time-consuming liquid chromatographic (LC)/MS-MS method typically used by contract labs. To minimize the production of acrylamide in fried foods (i.e. chicken, potato), chemical additives, such as adsorbents, will be tested in the frying process. The use of different temperatures, frying times, and types of oil will also be evaluated in combination with the additives. The additives will be designed to interfere with the acrylamide formation process and/or scavenge the acrylamide that is formed. Additionally, alternative approaches, such as use of food additives to suppress the Maillard reaction responsible for acrylamide formation, dipping the food in a suppresive material, and/or better control of frying conditions will be investigated. The analysis of the diverse sample types will require further development of sample preparation techniques for use in the analytical methods that have been developed.