Initially, the mechanism of acrylamide formation will be investigated by:
Determining the effect of reactants and reaction conditions on acrylamide formation in model systems, using competition studies with amino acids, and carbonyl compounds.<p>
Investigating the kinetics of the formation of acrylamide in relation to chemical composition and reaction conditions (temperature and pH) of simple model systems.<p>
These results will then be used to formulate a kinetic model which will be applied to acrylamide levels in real foods, allowing predictive modelling of acrylamide formation in foods of given composition and under specific processing conditions.
It has been shown that the genotoxic chemical acrylamide is present in certain cooked foods. The EC Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) subsequently recommended that levels of acrylamide in food should be as low as reasonably achievable.
In June 2002, a WHO/FAO consultation recommended that an understanding of the formation of acrylamide in heated foods is needed so that formulation, processing and cooking conditions can be optimised to minimise acrylamide levels.
Various mechanisms of formation of acrylamide have been proposed, with possible sources including the amino acid asparagine, and acrolein. The aim of this project is to determine the precise mechanism and kinetics of acrylamide formation in plant-based food, in particular potato and cereal. The project will aim to determine a kinetic model, which will provide a generic framework to predict the effects of processing conditions, composition, and the food matrix on acrylamide levels
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.