Acrylerase enzymatic solution to reduce acrylamide levels in soluble coffee products

Monday, 04 March, 2024

c-LEcta and ANKA have developed Acrylerase — a new food enzyme to reduce acrylamide in instant coffee and ready-to-drink coffee beverages. The patented technology is designed to target acrylamide directly and is claimed to provide benefits over existing mitigation measures.

As acrylamide is considered carcinogenic, limitation and mitigation of this process contaminant in food is a priority in regulatory acts worldwide. Typically, acrylamide is formed when starchy food materials are exposed to high heat, such as during roasting and extraction to produce soluble coffee, coffee concentrates as well as cereal- or chicory-based coffee surrogates.

Acrylerase is claimed to be the first commercially available enzyme for direct decomposition of acrylamide, enabling on-site control of acrylamide levels during the processing of soluble coffee and coffee extracts. It is a flexible and simple drop-in solution that can be easily integrated into existing manufacturing processes. Thus, Acrylerase is designed to help with regulatory compliance without the need for other costly mitigation measures.

In some countries such as South Korea and in the EU, directives and regulations are already in force to mitigate acrylamide and limit consumer exposure, ie, by introducing benchmark levels and monitoring acrylamide levels in various product categories, including soluble coffee. In addition, the introduction of fixed maximum limits is currently under discussion by the European Commission.

c-LEcta is part of the Kerry Group.

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