Reference Number: 612
Health: Key Research Papers
Free asparagine is an important precursor for acrylamide in cereal products. The content of free asparagine was determined in 11 milling fractions from wheat and rye. Whole grain wheat flour contained 0.5 g/kg and whole grain rye flour 1.1 g/kg. The lowest content was found in sifted wheat flour (0.2 g/kg). Wheat germ had the highest content (4.9 g/kg). Fermentation (baker’s yeast or baker’s yeast and sourdough) of doughs made with the different milling fractions was performed to investigate whether the content of free asparagine was reduced by this process. In general, most of the asparagine was utilized after 2 hr of fermentation with yeast. Sourdough fermentation, on the other hand, did not reduce the content of free asparagine as efficiently but had a strong negative impact on asparagine utilization by yeast. This indicates that this type of fermentation may result in breads with higher acrylamide content than in breads fermented with yeast only. The effect of fermentation time on acrylamide formation in yeast-leavened bread was studied in a model system. Doughs (sifted wheat flour with whole grain wheat flour or rye bran) were fermented for a short (15+15 min) or a long time (180+180min). Compared with short fermentation time, longer fermentation reduced acrylamide content in bread made with whole grain wheat 87%. For breads made with rye bran, the corresponding reduction was 77%. Hence, extensive fermentation with yeast may be one possible way to reduce acrylamide content in bread.
Significance of this study:
The National Toxicology Program believes acrylamide is likely a human carcinogen, based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamide in drinking water. In the current study, researchers list the free asparagine levels in different milling fractions of wheat and rye bread, finding that sifted wheat flour has the lowest levels (0.2 g/kg) and wheat germ the highest (4.9 g/kg). Moreover, the study found that long fermentation of whole grain wheat bread with yeast reduced acrylamide levels by as much as 87%. In rye bran, the levels were reduced by as much as 77%. Sourdough fermentation of rye and wheat bread did not reduce the acrylamide levels as effectively as baker’s yeast, yet it had a strong effect on acrylamide utilization by yeast. Based on these studies, it is possible that long fermentation with yeast may be an efficient way to reduce levels of this potential carcinogen in bread.