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Overview Of Toxicants Formed During Food Processing

3016 words - 13 pages

No Items Pages
1 Contents 1
2 Introduction 2
3 Toxicants formed during food processing 3~9
3.1 Acrylamide 3
3.2 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons 4~5
3.3 Nitrosamine 5~6
3.4 Benzene 7
3.5 Chorinated compounds 8
3.6 Amino acid Pyrolysates 9
4 Conclusion 10
5 References 11
For most foods, the faster it spoils, the healthier it is. However, in the globalisation and rapid invention of technologies plus the shifting eating habit of mankind, we need our food to last for as long as possible. For this purpose of increasing food’s shelf life, the food industry has created an era of convenience for consumers through packaged, preserved, emulsified, pasteurized, ...view middle of the document...

In order to make the processed food healthier, we may reduce salt, MSG, fats, colouring, additives and so on in the processing of food. However, we may overlook something more important. That is the toxicants formed during food processing. The formation of toxicants has a close relationship with the composition of foods and type of processing methods. In the following review, we are going to learn its occurrence, properties, effect and regulation on 6 selected toxicants which are commonly found in food consumed by us.

Toxicants formed during food processing
Acrylamide is an odourless and colourless crystalline solid that is formed in many foods cooked or processed at temperatures above 120°C, especially in carbohydrate-rich foods. It has a melting point of 84.5 °C and is soluble in water, acetone, and ethanol, has a high mobility in soil and groundwater and is biodegradable.
Acrylamide formation in foods depends on carbohydrates especially reducing sugars and asparagine, one of the non-essential amino acids. Acrylamide is formed during thermal processing in carbohydrate-rich and protein-low plant foods at high temperatures and low moisture conditions associated with frying, baking, and roasting.
Acrylamide forms in starch-based foods that are subjected to high temperature which is higher than 120 degree celcius through Maillard reaction. Some of the common food associated with acrylamide formation are such as potato chips, French fries, bread and so on. As acrylamide has not been detected in unheated or boiled foods, it was considered to be formed during heating at high temperatures.
Acrylamide is proofed to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and significant exposure to acrylamide poses a cancer risk in humans. Occupational exposure to acrylamide has also been shown to harm the human nervous system. In studies in rats and mice, it affected the growth of offspring exposed in the womb, reduced sperm production, and damaged sperm DNA resulting in the death of embryos.
After we have understood the mechanism of acrylamide formation, several strategies can be implemented to reduce its formation. The reduction of acrylamide precursor levels in raw materials is one of the strategies used to reduce acrylamide formation in heat-processed foods. Pre-treatments such as the application of enzyme asparaginase to remove asparagine and the usage of non-reducing sugars can significantly reduce the formation of acrylamide during heat processing of food. Other methods include genetic modification of plant crops and by changing the processing parameters such as time and temperature.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a term that is used to describe a large class of organic compounds that are composed of two or more fused aromatic rings which are primarily formed by incomplete combustion or pyrolysis of organic matter and during various industrial processes. Humans are exposed to PAHs...

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