Kerry has started rolling out a new non-GMO yeast which can reduce acrylamide levels up to 90% across a wide range of food and beverage products. Called Acryleast, the clean-label solution is rich in asparaginase enzyme and was developed through a partnership with Renaissance BioScience.
Acrylamide is a suspected carcinogen that forms when starchy foods are treated at high heat including baked goods, processed potatoes and more.
As concerns are growing, governments all over the world are starting to pay attention to the threat posed by acrylamide and are implementing new regulations. For example, the EU has implemented a new regulation on acrylamide that sets benchmark values for food products.
According to Kerry different levels of acrylamide can be found in different food products and even within specific product categories. Levels depend on several factors including:
- the quantities of asparagine and reducing sugars present in the raw materials being processed and cooked.
- the mixture of raw material.
- the overall food production method (including how long the cooking process lasts)
- surface area (acrylamide formation is typically higher in the surface layer on the crust of foods, where temperature is likely to rise >1200C).
- the cooking temperature.
What’s more, end-user cooking in the home or restaurants is also an important factor in the public exposure to acrylamide. For example, toasting bread can lead to acrylamide content up to eight times the level found in untoasted bread.
With Acryleast, Kerry is offering a solution to enable customers to meet their goals of lowering acrylamide levels in their products.
“We believe in a ‘from food, for food” philosophy and are driven to find natural solutions to customers’ challenges. For us, it was essential to find a clean, non-GMO alternative that both producers and consumers could trust to reduce acrylamide”, said Kerry’s VP Business Development Enzymes, Mike Woulfe for Frozen Food Europe.“We’ve partnered up with Renaissance, an innovative life science company. Their non-GMO approach to acrylamide reduction fits very well with Kerry’s clean label strategy. As manufacturers ourselves, we have a fundamental understanding of the challenge of acrylamide reduction and we bring global scale and insights that have far-reaching benefits to our customers”, Woulfe went on.
To explain how Acryleast works to lower acrylamide levels, the company says that a traditional baker’s yeast has the natural ability to reduce acrylamide formation by breaking down asparagine (an acrylamide precursor amino acid). However, its natural tendency is to break down other amino acids first because they are better sources of nitrogen. Acryleast is that same baker’s yeast, just naturally adapted to prioritize consuming asparagine over all other amino acids. Asparagine is one of the precursors of acrylamide formation, therefore, the consumption of the asparagine present in the food product reduces the amount of acrylamide formed during the frying, baking and grilling process. This natural selection of the yeast is a result of adaptive evolution as a non-GMO process.
Repeated trials results have demonstrated Acryleast’s effectiveness in reducing acrylamide levels in biscuit and cracker applications, with no impact on taste or texture, says Kerry. The company advises customers to trial Acryleast in accordance with their initial recommendations and optimize the dose rate for their manufacturing process. Feedback from customers who have trialed the solution in crackers, crispbreads and biscuits has been positive.
Acryleast is available globally except for 11 Northern and Eastern European countries and 3 European bakery companies, which are covered by Orkla Food Ingredients’ license agreement with Renaissance BioScience Corp.