Acrylamide and processing.

For some traditional products and in case of breakdown of production lines, doughs are allowed ‘resting’ time. Time to age, not intended for fermentation. The reason for resting time is  that in recipes it can have a better dissolving of ingredients in the continuous phase of the dough (i.e. large sugar cystals to dissolve/ disappear). When not an enzyme is being used an increase of Acrylamide formed of around 35% in 3 hours time.

Yeast

When using yeast in cracker type formulations. The usage of specific yeast strains that contains a higher amount of the enzyme asparginase can be considered. Without adapting your processing conditions severely. As alternative to a yeast the enzyme, asparginase can be used. But when using an enzyme it is important to understand that an enzyme depends on several factors:

  • Dosage
  • Temperature
  • Amount of substrate (Aspargic acid)
  • Incubation (fermentation or resting time)
  • Acidity
Asparginase

The enzyme Asparginase is designed for 2 different pH working environments. Where in the past a lower pH showed counterproductive for the activity of the enzyme. If the pH of the dough was reduced by 1 point without an enzyme a potential reduction of around 17% exists, with an enzyme lowering pH can prove to be counterproductive. Allowing the enzyme to be active means in many cases time, and if that is not feasible: increase the dosage. As however the enzyme is quite expensive many manufacturers see it as a burden. If used wisely it was stated that when a dosage of 1000 U/kg (enzyme units per kg)[1] on the dough was used the following results can be obtained:

  • 30 minutes incubation can give up to 45% reduction
  • 60 minutes incubation can give up to 75% reduction
  • 48 hours incubation can give up to 97% reduction
In manufactoring

In many manufacturing sites a 30 minutes resting time might be feasible, otherwise a solution with working with return dough could work (e.g. if working with a sheet/cut or laminate/cut type of process). A way around this could be to create one or two doughs where the enzyme gets his incubation time, where this is then used as a ‘mother dough’ in a x% in the next doughs. This will allow you to control better/ increase the enzyme activity and therefore lower the ACRYLAMIDE levels with a reasonable dosage of the enzyme.

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