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Effects of variety and nutrient availability on the acrylamide-forming potential of rye grain

Postles, J., Powers, S. J., Elmore, J. S. ORCID:, Mottram, D. S. and Halford, N. G. (2013) Effects of variety and nutrient availability on the acrylamide-forming potential of rye grain. Journal of Cereal Science, 57 (3). pp. 463-470. ISSN 0733-5210

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2013.02.001


Acrylamide is a probable human carcinogen that forms in plant-derived foods when free asparagine and reducing sugars react at high temperatures. The identification of rye varieties with low acrylamide-forming potential or agronomic conditions that produce raw material with low acrylamide precursor concentrations would reduce the acrylamide formed in baked rye foods without the need for additives or potentially costly changes to processes. This work compared five commercial rye varieties grown under a range of fertilisation regimes to investigate the effects of genotype and nutrient (nitrogen and sulphur) availability on the accumulation of acrylamide precursors. A strong correlation was established between the free asparagine concentration of grain and the acrylamide formed upon heating. The five rye varieties accumulated different concentrations of free asparagine in the grain, indicating that there is genetic control of this trait and that variety selection could be useful in reducing acrylamide levels in rye products. High levels of nitrogen fertilisation were found to increase the accumulation of free asparagine, showing that excessive nitrogen application should be avoided in order not to exacerbate the problem of acrylamide formation. This effect of nitrogen was mitigated in two of the varieties by the application of sulphur.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:32718

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