Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yeast Cancels Toxic Acrylamide Threat in Bread not Crackers

Remember headlines like, "Is Eating French Fries Deadly?" from 2002. It might be, but there is a simple nearly-natural solution for bready foods.

First, the dangerous chemical in french fries and in baked bread is acrylamide, and it is a carcinogen. It ts found in many starchy foods after cooking, including french frieds,  crackers and non-leavened baked goods like pancakes.

Second, the normal fermentation of wheat with yeast reduces the toxic acrylamide by 88%. It does this by feeding on the amino acid asparagine, and using it up. The acrylamide forms during baking over 121C (250F.)

Aspargine is a good food source for yeast. Now Canadian yeast maker, Functional Technologies, has a yeast that works even better. It is only nearly-natural because it is a genetically modified yeast which uses up asparagine more effectively that natural yeast.

asparagine, an amino acid
This looks like a solution for wheat breads, but it does not work on rye bread where asparagine is evidently better protected.

While yeast is good news for bread. It is no help for french fries and coffee which also have an acrylamide problem, and no simple way to use yeast.