Acrylamide is formed in the Maillard reaction
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1038/419448a
Reports of the presence of acrylamide in a range of fried and oven-cooked foods have caused worldwide concern because this compound has been classified as probably carcinogenic in humans. Here we show how acrylamide can be generated from food components during heat treatment as a result of the Maillard reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. We find that asparagine, a major amino acid in potatoes and cereals, is a crucial participant in the production of acrylamide by this pathway.