Novozymes launches enzyme to reduce acrylamide in food

Researchers from Novozymes have found a solution to reduce the level of acrylamide in food products such as cookies, crackers and snacks.

Novozymes launches Acrylaway to reduce acrylamide which is formed when starchy foods are baked, fried or toasted at high temperatures. Acrylamide is under suspicion of causing cancer.


Health concerns

In 2002, a study by the Swedish National Food Authorities discovered considerable levels of acrylamide in food products such as French fries, biscuits, snacks and crackers. The study raised awareness of acrylamide worldwide. A new enzyme called Acrylaway addresses this problem.


Acrylaway can be applied to a wide range of products opening up for an overall reduction of average daily intake of acrylamide for consumers worldwide.


“It is a fundamental need for consumers and society that our food is safe and healthy. With the enzyme solution from Novozymes, food manufacturers can now offer end-consumers food products with reduced worries regarding acrylamide” says Peder Holk Nielsen, Executive Vice president, Sales & Marketing at Novozymes.


Acrylamide is reduced up to 90%

Independent tests show that Acrylaway effectively reduces acrylamide levels by 50% to 90% in a broad range of foods such as biscuits, crackers, crisp bread and snacks.


“Many food manufacturers globally have already tested Acrylaway and have shown interest in the product and its ability to substantially reduce acrylamide without changing the taste and appearance of their food product,” Peder Holk Nielsen says. 

How Acrylaway reduces acrylamide

Acrylamide may be formed during the heat-induced reactions that produce the brown colour and characteristic tasty flavour of baked, fried and toasted foods. Basically it involves two common substances, naturally present in foods, namely sugar and an amino acid called asparagine. The sugar reacts with the amino acid when the food is heated and forms acrylamide.


The new enzyme technology reduces acrylamide formation by converting free asparagine into another naturally occurring amino acid, aspartic acid that cannot contribute to acrylamide formation. In practice it is done by blending Acrylaway into the dough before the final product is baked or fried


Acrylaway only converts free asparagine, and therefore does not impact nutritional properties or the desirable browning and flavour-producing reactions normally obtained during baking and frying. This means that Acrylaway treated foods have the same looks and great taste expected by consumers, but with substantially-reduced acrylamide” says Peder Holk Nielsen.