New system reduces acrylamide level in coffee

by Jeff Gelski
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BAGSVAERD, DENMARK — Novozymes has introduced Acrylaway CB L, a system proven to reduce acrylamide levels in Arabica and robusta coffees by up to 70%, said Emmanuel Michelot, business development manager for food at Bagsvaerd-based Novozymes.

According to the American Cancer Society, acrylamide may form in some starchy foods during high-temperature cooking processes such as frying, roasting and baking, and it is not yet clear if acrylamide has an effect on cancer risk in people.

Novozymes launched Acrylaway in 2007 and initially targeted the baked foods market.

“The food industry cares about food safety and acrylamide, and we’re working with many of the industry players globally,” Mr. Michelot said. “In the case of coffee, it’s an industry that has been sensitive to social and environmental sustainability for some time now. So it’s not surprising that health is also high on its agenda. Beans treated with Acrylaway CB L enable coffee consumers to kick-start their day with the great-tasting cup of coffee they love, knowing it contains significantly less acrylamide.”

Acrylamide is formed during a cascade of reactions during the roasting of coffee beans, according to Novozymes. A Maillard reaction converts an amino acid called asparagine into acrylamide. When companies add Acrylaway before roasting the beans, the asparagine is converted into another amino acid called aspartic acid, which does not take part in the formation of acrylamide.

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