Inocuidad y Calidad en Alimentos & Bebidas

8 de mayo de 2018

Heat-generated food toxicants: identification, characterisation and risk minimisation

1. Summary 

Heating food gives many advantages – it adds taste, colour and texture and minimises harmful germs. Flavour and aroma compounds are produced via the Maillard reaction but at the same time various health hazardous compounds may form. The main route for acrylamide formation goes via the Maillard reaction between reducing sugars (glucose and fructose) but also sucrose, and the amino acid asparagine. The HEATOX project involved 24 partners in 14 countries. The focus of the HEATOX project was health risks associated with hazardous compounds, for example acrylamide, in heat-treated carbohydrate-rich foods. The main objectives were to estimate health risks that may be associated with hazardous compounds in heat-treated food and to find cooking/processing methods which minimise the amounts of these compounds, thereby providing safe, nutritious and high-quality foodstuffs. Among the important results are recommendations to consumers, restaurants and the food industry on how to minimise the amounts of heat-generated toxicants in foods, while ensuring product quality from a nutritional and sensory point of view. 

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