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Acrylamide Contamination Analysis

Acrylamide is an organic chemical with no smell. It can be dissolved in organic solvents and water. It can be produced for industrial use and can be also naturally formed during food processing.

Acrylamide Contamination Analysis in Foods

Figure 1. Chemical structure of acrylamide and related food products

Acrylamide can be formed in some foods during the food processing at high temperature (higher than 120℃), such as baking, frying, and roasting. The mechanisms of acrylamide formation in foods is still under investigation. Acrylamide is considered as a byproduct formed through the Maillard reaction from an amino acid and sugar that are present in foods. Acrylamide is also an organic chemical used in the industry. The main source of acrylamide contamination into the food is from the food processing. Some foods have relatively high levels of acrylamide include fried potatoes, coffee, and foods made from starch and grains.

The level of acrylamide in food products depends on the processing temperature and time and the method used for cooking by the manufacturer. The level of acrylamide has been founded to increase with the longer cooking time at high temperature.

Acrylamide is highly toxic and can have harmful health impacts on human beings depending on the exposure amount and time. Acrylamide can be converted to a compound in the human body, causing DNA damage and mutation. There are some regulatory agencies having classification for acrylamide. Acrylamide has been classified as "probable human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP).

Some regulatory agencies have established acrylamide limits in drinking water and mitigation from packaging. There are no binding limits existed for acrylamide in foods. The European Commission specified indicative values for acrylamide in a variety types of foods. The indicative values range from 50 μg/kg (ppb) for processed cereal based infant foods to 4000 μg/kg (ppb) for coffee substitutes. There are also recommendations and research in the food industry for the mitigation of acrylamide in food products.

The procedure for the analysis of acrylamide in foods includes sample preparation and extraction, clean-up, and detection/quantification. We have expertise in sample preparation of a variety types of food matrices. The sample preparation has significant effect on the accuracy of the level measured in the food samples.

We offer accurate and validated analytical methods that have been widely applied in the determination of acrylamide in food samples to meet customers' needs.

Liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole Mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

LC-MS/MS is an FDA draft method to directly analyze acrylamide in foods. This method has been validated for the analysis of French fries and potato chips. The limit of detection typically ranges from 10 – 50 μg/kg (ppb).

Gas chromatography coupled to Mass spectrometry (GC-MS)

GC based methods usually needs derivatization to analyze acrylamide. The limit of detection typically in the range of 5 – 10 μg/kg (ppb).

We also maintain high quality assurance for the analysis. The recovery of internal standard, the use of blanks and spikes is monitored for each batch of analysis.

* Not intended for personal food safety testing.

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