Novozymes, the world leader in bioinnovation, today revealed data from new industrial-scale trials showing that the enzyme Acrylaway can reduce acrylamide levels in french fries by up to 50%. Acrylamide has been considered a potential health risk (e.g., WHO) since Swedish researchers in 2002 discovered that many starchy foods contain high levels of acrylamide when fried or baked. French fries are another popular, everyday product that contains acrylamide.

The food industry cares about food safety and acrylamide,” says Anders Espe Kristensen, Business Development & Marketing Director for Food & Beverages at Novozymes. “In the case of french fries, we have now demonstrated that our solution works effectively on an industrial scale. These new data support the collaboration we already have with producers of french fries with the aim of implementing our solution.”  |

A natural solution to a natural problem
The Acrylaway enzyme was launched globally in August 2007, initially targeting the biscuits and snacks market, and food manufacturers around the globe have since showed interest in the solution. 

The main mechanism for acrylamide formation involves the amino acid asparagine. When frying or roasting starchy foods, asparagine is converted into acrylamide in a process called the Maillard reaction responsible for color and flavor developments. By adding Acrylaway to the foods, asparagine is converted into another common amino acid, aspartic acid, which does not take part in the formation of acrylamide. As Acrylaway specifically modifies asparagine, the other amino acids and sugars remain active to contribute to the Maillard reaction, preserving the taste and appearance of the final product.

When processing french fries, the potatoes are peeled, cut and blanched as usual, and then dipped or coated in an Acrylaway-containing solution. The new trials have demonstrated a 35-50% reduction in the formation of acrylamide using the enzyme.

Coffee, biscuits, cookies, crackers
Acrylaway has been proven to be effective across a broad range of products, including biscuits, cookies, crackers, crispbreads and cereal- and potato-based snacks, as well as coffee. Novozymes is already actively working with leading companies using Acrylaway to reduce the formation of acrylamide in these food categories.  

“I’m excited that the new data confirm the effectiveness of Acrylaway in french fries production,” continues Anders Espe Kristensen. “The demand for healthier food is a global issue. As Acrylaway has received approval in North America and throughout most of Asia and Europe, it is now commercially available in most large markets throughout the globe. Now we can help even more food manufacturers to lower acrylamide levels in even more product categories.”