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Changes to acrylamide regulations in 2023: What biscuit and cookie manufacturers have to know

This season marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of acrylamide in keeping foods, such as for example biscuits, cookies, poker chips, coffee and many other cereal and potato-based foods prepared at high temperatures (>120C) under low-moisture conditions.

Acrylamide may be the naturally formed element of the browning effect also referred to as the Maillard reaction between proteins and reducing sugars under heat. Additionally it is considered a carcinogen, and in 2018, EU legislation introduced the BML in biscuits and cookies below 350 parts per billion (ppb).

Acrylamide science Drypsiak

Pic: GettyImages/Drypsiak

However, recent tests showed many samples surpassed this limit.

Current legislation states is that food manufacturers must apply practical steps within their production according the ALARA principle, that is striving for only reasonably achievable,said Kees Veeke, technical service manager of Baking Enzymes at DSM.

Although Veeke believes most food manufacturers know about the acrylamide levels within their products, many still find it hard to meet up with the benchmark levels.

It has related to the variations in recipes and ingredients, that may cause acrylamide varying from 50 ppb around 7,000 ppb. Biscuits and cookies have different degrees of acrylamide also it can be quite difficult to monitor for manufacturers [of multiple lines].

It boils down to the kind of flour used Asparagine levels between bleached flour and whole meal flour may differ by around the result of whole meal, and that automatically also results in more impressive range of acrylamide to the various kinds of concentrations of sugar Fructose is a lot more reactive in comparison to glucose, for example, and for that reason contributes significantly to the production of acrylamide.


Also, we’ve the water and the experience. Water is required to activate enzymes to create it productive. Water can be needed to enhance the extraction of the asparagine and for rotary molded cookies, for example, not really much water can be used, that makes it very challenging for producers.

Consumer awareness

A long time before the pandemic but certainly exacerbated because of it consumers were thinking about the role food had on the health and wellness, and Veeke believes that today, the majority are alert to acrylamide and its own potential effects.

In 1994, it had been classified as a probable human carcinogen (group 2A) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Contact with industrial levels could cause nerve damage, including muscle weakness and impaired muscle coordination, but that is way beyond what’s within food. Studies also claim that chronic dietary exposure is with the capacity of damaging nerve cells in the mind and may potentially are likely involved in the development ofneurodegenerative disease like Alzheimers.

However, scientists admityour body of evidence in humans continues to be cloudy,even with 20 years of research. Actually, a systematic review published in Frontiers of Nutrition in April 2022 even concluded there isno associationbetween high dietary acrylamide exposure and increased threat of the investigated cancers, including those of mouth, oesophageal, gastric, colon-rectal, pancreatic, prostate, bladder, lung, renal, lymphoma, myeloma, thyroid, brain, larynx and melanoma.

Acrylamide levels over the EU have already been at the mercy of a benchmarking system since 2018, but exceeding a benchmark level doesnt mean something cannot be positioned on the market. Beneath the system, manufacturers are tasked to shoot for ONLY Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) acrylamide levels and when the BML is exceeded, to examine their mitigation measures and work at lowering levels.

However, with 64% of consumers indicating fascination with the influence food is wearing their health, its a barrier that bakery and snack producers cant afford to ignore.


Consumers nowadays are gathering more info on their daily food diet with more usage of different sources like social media marketing and so are very keen to learn what they’re actually eating.

Those people who are alert to acrylamide have become concerned, specifically for childrens health.

Whats waiting for you?

EU Regulation 2017/2158 on acrylamide is defined to be renewed in 2023, likely to adjust BMLs and introduce new maximum levels. In accordance with Veeke, the existing benchmark degree of 350 ppb in biscuits and cookies will decrease to 300 ppb, with a maximum degree of 500 ppm.

If products exceed the proposed maximum levels, the results are expected to be a lot more stringent than if the BMLs are exceeded currently.

The brand new legislation can be predicted to add new categories, including root vegetable fries, fruit crisps, cocoa powder and potato-based dishes such as for example rsti and croquettes. In 2019,the EU broadened the set of baked goodsto be monitored, to add pita and specialty breads, pancakes, tortillas, churros, doughnuts and croissants. In addition, it covers an array of rolls, including hamburger and whole wheat grains rolls.

Kids eating biscuits Image source

Pic: GettyImages/Image Source

Help accessible

Thankfully, producers have a variety of sources and mitigation solutions to help them through the quagmire, such as for example DSMs smart cookie guide.

Our smart cookie guide is really a compilation of our experience and knowhow developed over 2 decades in relation to acrylamide mitigation. We like our customers to possess a better knowledge of the formulations and processes they might use, [especially] the optimum efficiency of our enzymatic solution,said Veeke.

Enzymes are named among the better solutions, in this instance, for acrylamide mitigation, but in the event that you turn to a broader perspective, enzymes are natural occurring proteins [that] appear everywhere all around us. They’re biocatalysts, actually; they’re biodegradable; plus they are in a position to convert something into another product in an all natural way.

In cases like this, asparaginase is converting asparagine into aspartic acid and by doing that, you remove a contributor in the Maillard reaction, which really helps to decrease the acrylamide level. Enzymes may also help delay staling in bread, for example, but additionally enable longer freshness in baked goods.

He added, For acrylamide reduction, asparaginases are a perfect solution, since they need no significant change to the recipe or process. So, it really is almost such as a plug and play solution.

DSMs PreventASe enzyme ideal for a number of recipes from savoury crackers to sweet crispy wafers enables producers to lessen acrylamide by 90% in crispy wafers, 80% in biscuits and 80%-87% in infant biscuits.


Do you know the health ramifications of acrylamide and how do it be low in food?

American Chemical Society, August 22, 2007

Dietary acrylamide and human cancer; even with 20 years of research an open question

Authors: Janneke GF Hogervorst and Leo J Schouten

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2022, nqac192

Dietary Acrylamide Exposure and Threat of Site-Specific Cancer: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Epidemiological Studies

Authors: Tommaso Filippini, Thorhallur I. Halldorsson, Carolina Capito, et al

Front. Nutr., 25 April 2022, Sec. Nutritional Epidemiology

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