Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fries with a side of acrylamide

03.12.2015

Researchers working to cut unwanted chemical in French fries

French fry lovers, beware! You may be exposed to a chemical more commonly associated with heavy industry than crispy fried potatoes. Fortunately, researchers are finding ways to reduce that exposure.


Fries with relatively high acrylamide and poor consumer attributes (right) vs. fries with low acrylamide and desirable consumer attributes (left).

Credit: NFPT/SCRI Acrylamide project

French fries contain acrylamide. The chemical poses a risk for several types of cancer in rodents. However, the evidence from human studies is still incomplete. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers the chemical a "probable human carcinogen."

Scientists first began paying attention to the unwanted chemical's presence in food more than a decade ago. Trace amounts of acrylamide are present in many foods cooked at temperatures higher than 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Relatively high levels are found in fried potatoes, including French fries and potato chips.

With that in mind, a group of scientists set out in 2011 to identify potato varieties that form less acrylamide.

Led by University of Idaho researcher Yi Wang, the group assessed more than 140 potato varieties. The researchers' goal was to identify potatoes that make great French fries and form less acrylamide. The amount of the chemical found in fried potatoes is thought to be directly linked to the chemistry of the raw potatoes.

Raw potatoes contain an amino acid called asparagine. The amino acid is found in many animal and plant food sources, and it's a known precursor of acrylamide. When cooked at high temperatures, sugars react with amino acids, including asparagine, in a chemical process known as the Maillard reaction. The reaction is what gives fried potatoes their prized flavor and color, but it is also what produces acrylamide.

Researchers planted 149 potato breeds in five potato-growing regions across the United States. Upon harvesting, they sent some of the raw potatoes to labs. There, the potatoes were stored in conditions similar to commercial potatoes. After storage, the labs tested the potatoes for their levels of reducing sugars and asparagine. Researchers then fried some of the potatoes and observed how much acrylamide the potatoes formed.

The researchers found that it is fairly achievable to identify potato breeds that produce less acrylamide, especially when compared with the industry standard potato breeds, Ranger Russet and Russet Burbank.

"The real challenge is to find the varieties that not only have those characteristics, but also yield finished products with desirable processing quality that meet the stringent standards of the food industry," Wang said.

Two of the most promising varieties -- Payette Russet and Easton -- have already been released for commercial use.

Wang said the group hopes to identify genes that are related to lower acrylamide in certain fried potatoes. The study shows a strong relationship between the genetics of a raw potato and its potential to form acrylamide. If researchers are able to identify the specific genes, they may be able to eliminate them in the future.

The team's research is published in Crop Science.

Susan Fisk | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Agronomy French fries acid acrylamide amino amino acid asparagine potato potato varieties

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>