Acrylamide CHM230 Jeremy Sanner Leena Tarin Anita Wadkar Background: Digital images were captured in brightfield illumination with a Nikon Eclipse E600 microscope attached to a DXM 1200 digital camera system
The lUPAC name is 2-propenamide. It is a white odorless crystalline solid, soluble in water, ethanol, ether and chloroform. Acrylamide is in-compatible with acids, bases, oxidizing agents, iron and iron salts.
It decomposes non-thermally to form ammonia, and thermal decomposition produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen.
Acrylamide formation is a result of the Maillard reaction.
A reaction occurs between the carbohydrates (sugar) and proteins, and is responsible for changes in color, flavor and nutritive in food.
It has been confirmed that asparagine is the main amino acid responsible for its formation. Available evidence suggests that sugars and other carbonyl compounds play a specific role in the decarboxylation process of asparagine,
Most acrylamide waste ends up in the ground and then leaches from the soil into ground water. Acrylamide is highly mobile in aqueous environments, easily moves through soil, it is carried great distances in ground water through deep rock aquifers.
Acute (short term) toxic effects could include the death of animals, birds and fish as well as death or low growth rates in plants.
Handling and Storage to Reduce Acrylamide Formation
To reduce the production of acrylamide:
Soak raw potato slices in water for 15-30 minutes before frying or roasting to help reduce acrylamide formation.
Storing potatoes in the refrigerator can result in increased acrylamide during cooking. Therefore, store potatoes outside the refrigerator, preferably in a dark, cool place, such as a closet or a pantry.
Preparation Methods to Reduce Acrylamide Formation
Steps to reduce acrylamide formation in french fries/potatoes:
1. Methods to cook potatoes.
2. Cooking at lower temperatures. French fries should be golden yellow rather than to a more brown color.
3. Optimum cooking temperatures to reduce acrylamide formation is below 180 degrees.
While at this time research has proven that only acute contact of acrylamide will cause cancer it is strongly believed that ingestion of this chemical will increase the likelihood of developing some type of cancer in a persons life.
Is the risk worth it or would it be better to look into a better alternative the next time you run through the drive-thru for yourself or a child?
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