Role of curcumin in the conversion of asparagine into acrylamide during heating

Amino Acids. 2013 Jun;44(6):1419-26. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1179-5. Epub 2011 Dec 6.


This study aimed to investigate the ability of curcumin to convert asparagine into acrylamide during heating at different temperatures. Binary and ternary model systems of asparagine-curcumin and asparagine-curcumin-fructose were used to determine the role of curcumin on acrylamide formation in competitive and uncompetitive reaction conditions. The results indicated that curcumin could potentially contribute to acrylamide formation under long-term heating conditions as long as asparagine was present in the medium. The amount of acrylamide formed in the ternary system was slightly higher than in the binary system during heating (p < 0.05), because of the higher concentrations of carbonyl compounds initially available. The kinetic trends were similar in both model systems evidencing that fructose reacted with asparagine more rapidly than curcumin. The data reveal that acrylamide formation in the temperature range of 150-200°C obeys Arrhenius law with activation energy of 79.1 kJ/mole. Data of this work showed the possibility that antioxidants having a carbonyl compound can react directly with ASN leading to acrylamide. The addition of antioxidants to foods may increase the formation of acrylamide upon long-term heating if free sugar concentration is low and ASN concentration is relatively high.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamide / chemistry*
  • Asparagine / chemistry*
  • Bread
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Food*
  • Fructose / chemistry
  • Hot Temperature
  • Kinetics
  • Maillard Reaction
  • beta-Alanine / analogs & derivatives
  • beta-Alanine / chemistry


  • beta-Alanine
  • Acrylamide
  • Fructose
  • beta-alanine amide
  • Asparagine
  • Curcumin