The recent discovery of the presence of variable amounts of the carcinogenic compound acrylamide in a wide range of severely heat-treated food products, such as fried potatoes, biscuits, bread and coffee or malt, as a result of the heat process, has induced an important research in the area of the Maillard reaction in food. The interaction between a specific food composition and the heat process applied results in the development of complex oxidation and glycation reactions, which give rise to a mixture of flavoured compounds and possible neoformed contaminants (NFC). Recommendations by the European Commission aim at monitoring the content of major NFC, such as acrylamide and furan, in a list of food products commercialized in Europe. On the other hand, the Commission for European Normalization (CEN) has created recently a new workgroup (WG13) responsible for normalization of analytical method for NFC assessment. The European collective research ICARE was carried out to identify the possible health consequences of the ingestion of heat-treated products, characterize the reaction kinetics leading to NFC and evaluate some mitigation procedures proposed by the CIAA toolbox, and finally develop a simple, rapid and non destructive control method based on fluorescence acquisition on the crushed food products and chemometric analysis of the spectral information. This paper summarizes the objectives and essential results obtained in the scope of the project, highlighting the need for evaluating the distribution of NFC in food products commercialized in Europe, as well as the impact of the food formula/recipe and process on Maillard derived NFC food levels. The potential of the Fluoralys sensor regarding its ability to control food contamination with NFC is presented. A decrease in NFC concentration of heat processed food should allow significantly limiting the exposure of populations to NFC and consequently the potential related health risk.
|Translated title of the contribution||The health and technological implications of a better control of neoformed contaminants by the food industry|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2010|