Acrylamide formation in different foods and potential strategies for reduction

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2005;561:157-69. doi: 10.1007/0-387-24980-X_13.


This paper summarizes the progress made to date on acrylamide research pertaining to analytical methods, mechanisms of formation, and mitigation research in the major food categories. Initial difficulties with the establishment of reliable analytical methods have today in most cases been overcome, but challenges still remain in terms of the needs to develop simple and rapid test methods. Several researchers have identified that the main pathway of formation of acrylamide in foods is linked to the Maillard reaction and in particular the amino acid asparagine. Decarboxylation of the resulting Schiff base is a key step, and the reaction product may either furnish acrylamide directly or via 3-aminopropionamide. An alternative proposal is that the corresponding decarboxylated Amadori compound may release acrylamide by a beta-elimination reaction. Many experimental trials have been conducted in different foods, and a number of possible measures identified to relatively lower the amounts of acrylamide in food. The validity of laboratory trials must, however, be assessed under actual food processing conditions. Some progress in relatively lowering acrylamide in certain food categories has been achieved, but can at this stage be considered marginal. However, any options that are chosen to reduce acrylamide must be technologically feasible and also not negatively impact the quality and safety of the final product.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamide / chemistry
  • Acrylamide / toxicity*
  • Amides / chemistry
  • Asparagine / chemistry
  • Carbon / chemistry
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coffee
  • Edible Grain
  • Food
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Contamination*
  • Food Handling
  • Food Industry
  • Maillard Reaction
  • Models, Chemical
  • Solanum tuberosum
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Amides
  • Coffee
  • Acrylamide
  • Asparagine
  • Carbon
  • propionamide