DSM claims end-product first for acrylamide-reducing enzyme

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dsm Food Maillard reaction

DSM has announced that its PreventASe acrylamide-reducing enzyme is
the first to be used in a retail products, with a Christmas biscuit
manufacturer launching biscuits with 70 per cent less acrylamide in
German supermarkets next month.

The news is the latest in a volley of announcements from DSM and Novozymes, both of whom have launched asperaginase enzymes for reducing the formation of acrylamide in baked goods.

DSM announced on Thursday that it had obtained application intellectual property rights for its PreventASe enzyme from patent holders Frito-Lay and Proctor & Gamble, clearing the way for its use in foods.

The following day Novozymes, which also has the applications IP rights, formally launched its enzyme, Acrylaway.

Acrylamide is a suspected carcinogen that is formed during by heat-induced reaction between sugar and an amino acid called asparagine.

Known as the Maillard reaction, this process is responsible for the brown colour and tasty flavour of baked, fried and toasted foods.

The two enzymes are understood to share the same aim - that is, to convert free asparagine into aspartic acid, another animo acid that does not form acrylamide.

The nutritional properties are unaffected, and so are the browning and taste aspects.

Both are an asparaginase, but they stem from different production strains: Novozyme's from Aspergillus oryzae and DSM's from Aspergillus niger.

The competition between the companies to be the first of the market shows clearly that this is a keen area of development - not least because any issue that could potentially threaten food safety could ultimately do immeasurable damage to a brand - and ultimately a whole food category.

DSM is keeping the identity of its client under wraps until the actual launch for competitive reasons.

The development and availability of the enzymes is likely to have a big impact on the food industry - from the biggest players down.

Spokespeople for both Frito-Lay and P&G told Food Navigator.com that they are looking into the potential for using both PreventASe and Acrylaway in their snack products.

Both DSM and Novozymes have obtained GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status for their enzymes in the US.

In most of Europe, with the exception of France and Denmark, regulatory approval is not required for enzymes used as processing aids.

In the secondary announcement on Friday, DSM said it has obtained approval on its dossier from the French food health safety agency AFFSA, and it expects a positive decision in Denmark soon.

Novozymes has approval in Denmark and is working on its dossier for France.

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