Acrylamide in food: formation, occurrence and mitigation

  • Granby, Kit (Project Manager)
  • Skibsted, L. H. (Project Participant)
  • Pedreschi, Franco (Project Participant)

Project Details


Acrylamide is a Maillard reaction products formed in thermally processed foods. The precursors of the acrylamide are mainly asparagine and reducing sugars present in e.g. potatoes, cereals or other fruits and vegetables.

Since 2002, the National Food Institute has made accredited analysis of acrylamide in food. In addition an LC-MS/MS method for simultaneously analysis of the precursors asparagine, glucose and fructose was developed.

The institute has cooperated with Universities and Danish and Nordic industries on reducing acrylamide in different food products like French fries, crisps, breakfast cereals and bread. Processing temperature, time, water activity, pH, radical contents influenced the acrylamide levels. It was also found that acrylamide was reduced by treatments like soaking in water, citric acid, antioxidants; blanching with water, sodium chloride solution or a solution of the enzyme asparaginase. The mechanisms and kinetic of acrylamide formation was studied in a model system with different relative concentrations of asparagine and reducing sugars and at different water activities. The rate determining intermediate was found to be different depending on the temperature and the activation energy for the two intermediates of the two formation routes were determined. The dietary intakes of acrylamide are estimated for children and adults.
Effective start/end date01/01/200231/12/2010

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • The confederation of Industries (including cooperation with five food processing industries) (Project partner)
  • Aarhus University (Project partner)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Project partner)
  • University of Copenhagen (Project partner)


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