Grain that grows on low sulphate soils contains larger amounts of acrylamide. Photo: Eugen Staab, Wikipedia
Reading British researchers want to reduce the amount of acrylamide in bread and other cereal products by influencing the ingredients of wheat even while growing cereal crops: if, during cultivation, sufficient attention is paid to sulfur soils in the soil, the grains contain much less Amounts of substances that make up the acrylamide during baking, roasting or frying. By contrast, in the case of sulphate deficiency, the content of acrylamide precursors in wheat may increase 30-fold, said Nigel Halford of the Rothamsted Research Center in Harpenden at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology in Glasgow. Acrylamide is produced by heating carbohydrate-containing foods such as cereals, potatoes or coffee from sugar and the amino acid asparagine, a building block for proteins. There had already been evidence in earlier studies that plants from low sulphate soils contain more asparagine than those from well-fertilized ones. Therefore, Halford and his colleagues cultivated different wheat varieties in the presence of more or less sulfates in order to study their influence more closely. In fact, the less the sulfur was in the soils, the higher the asparagine concentration in cereals.

This was also reflected in the acrylamide loading of the flour made from it, the scientist reported: In the varieties cultivated under sulfur deficiency, five to seven times more acrylamide was found after heating for 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius than in the comparative samples. The risk for the formation of the pollutant in cereal products can therefore be minimized by ensuring sufficient sulphate fertilization of the soil, the researcher concludes. This is particularly important because much of the soil in Europe contains comparatively little sulfur.

In order to reduce the formation of acrylamide, which has been found in animal experiments to be carcinogenic, various strategies have already been proposed. However, the most common ones, such as the reduction of baking or roasting temperature, leads to loss of taste in the food, since, for example, bread can not form a crispy brown crust. A reduction of the asparagine in the starting material would not have this side effect and could therefore be a real alternative. Last year, scientists showed that the amino acid can also be removed from flour and other cereal products using an enzyme. So far, however, this method is not approved for food.

Nigel Halford (Rothamsted Research Center, Harpenden): Contribution to the Annual Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology Original article: Nira Muttucumaru (Rothamsted Research Center, Harpenden) et al .: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 54, Issue 23, p. 8961 ddp / Ilka Lehnen-Beyel advertisement


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