Brief Communication | Published:

Food chemistry: Acrylamide is formed in the Maillard reaction

Nature volume 419, pages 448449 (03 October 2002) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Reports of the presence of acrylamide in a range of fried and oven-cooked foods1,2 have caused worldwide concern because this compound has been classified as probably carcinogenic in humans3. 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.

  • Subscribe to Nature for full access:

    $199

    Subscribe

Additional access options:

Already a subscriber?  Log in  now or  Register  for online access.

References

  1. 1.

    & Analyst 127, 880–882 (2002).

  2. 2.

    , , , & J. Agric. Food Chem. 50, 4998–5006 (2002).

  3. 3.

    IARC IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans 60, 389 (1994).

  4. 4.

    & Food Chemistry (Springer, New York, 1999).

  5. 5.

    & J. Agric. Food Chem. 49, 3885–3892 (2001).

  6. 6.

    & J. Plant Physiol. 138, 494–496 (1991).

  7. 7.

    J. Agric. Food Chem. 41, 1261–1263 (1993).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. *School of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AP, UK

    • Donald S. Mottram
    •  & Andrew T. Dodson
  2. †Procter Department of Food Science, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

    • Bronislaw L. Wedzicha

Authors

  1. Search for Donald S. Mottram in:

  2. Search for Bronislaw L. Wedzicha in:

  3. Search for Andrew T. Dodson in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Donald S. Mottram.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/419448a

Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.