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Food Research International 39 (2006) 40–46www.elsevier.com/locate/foodres0963-9969/$ - see front matter
2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2005.06.001
Acrylamide content and color development in fried potato strips
Franco Pedreschi
a,
¤
, Karl Kaack
b
, Kit Granby
c
a
Departmento de Ciencia y Tecnologia de los Alimentos, Facultad Tecnologica, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), Av. Ecuador 3769,Santiago, Chile
b
Department of Horticulture, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Kirstinebjergvej 10, 5792 Aarslev, Denmark 
c
Department of Food Chemistry, Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, Moerkhoej Bygade 19, 2860 Soeborg, Denmark 
Received 19 April 2005; accepted 2 June 2005
Abstract
Acrylamide formation and changes in color of fried potato strips was investigated in relation to frying temperature and threetreatments before frying. Potato strips (0.8
£
0.8
£
5cm) of Bintje variety were fried at 150, 170 and 190°C until reaching moisturecontents of 
»
40g water/100g (total basis). Prior to frying, potato strips were treated in one of the following ways: (i) immersed indistilled water for 0min (control), 60min and 120min; (ii) blanched in hot water at six di
erent time–temperature combinations(50°C for 40 and 80min; 70°C for 10 and 45min; 90°C for 3 and 10min); (iii) immersed in a citric acid solution of 10g/L for anhour; (iv) immersed in a sodium pyrophosphate solution of 10g/L for an hour. Acrylamide content and color was determined in thepotato strips after frying. Immersed strips in water for 120 min showed a reduction of acrylamide formation of 33%, 21% and 27% at150, 170 and 190°C, respectively, when they were compared against the control. Potato strips blanched at 50°C for 80min had thelowest acrylamide content when compared against strips blanched at di
erent conditions and fried at the same temperature (135, 327and 564
m acrylamide/kg for 150, 170 and 190°C, respectively). Potato strip immersion in citric acid solution of 10g/L reducedmuch more the acrylamide formation after frying than the strip immersion in sodium pyrophosphate solution of 10g/L (53% vs.17%, respectively, average values for the three temperatures tested). Acrylamide formation decreased dramatically as the frying tem-perature decreased from 190 to 150°C for all the pre-treatments tested. Color represented by the parameters
L
* and a* showed highcorrelations (
r
2
of 0.79 and 0.83, respectively) with French fry acrylamide content.
2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
Potato strips; Frying; Acrylamide; Color; Blanching; Immersing
1. Introduction
Immersion frying, or deep-fat frying, is a widespreadoperation used throughout food processing industries aswell in catering operations and home preparation of foods. Potato (
Solanum tuberosum
) is one of the world’smajor agricultural crops and it is consumed daily by mil-lions of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Pota-toes are grown in approximately 80% of all countriesand worldwide production stands in excess of 300 mil-lions tons/year, a
W
gure exceeded only by wheat, maizeand rice. US produces over 17.4 billion pounds of frozenand French fried potato products per year (NationalPotato Council, 1988).Immersion frying has been de
W
ned as the immersionof a food product in an edible oil or fat heated above theboiling point of water (Hubbard & Farkas, 1999), andmay therefore be considered a dehydration process.These conditions lead to high heat transfer rates, rapidcooking, browning, texture and
X
avor development.High heat transfer rates are largely responsible for thedevelopment of the desired sensorial properties in friedpotatoes (Farkas, Singh, & Rumsey, 1996).
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +56 93 591 679; fax: +56 26 823 536.
E-mail address:
 fpedresc@lauca.usach.cl (F. Pedreschi).
 
F. Pedreschi et al. / Food Research International 39 (2006) 40–46 
41
Color of potato chips is an important parameter to becontrolled during processing together with crispness, oiland acrylamide content (Pedreschi, Kaack, & Granby,2004; Pedreschi, Moyano, Kaack, & Granby, 2005;Rosen & Hellenäs, 2002; Scanlon, Roller, Mazza & Prit-chard 1994). Besides, fried potato color is the result of Maillard reaction as well, that depends on the super
W
cialreducing sugar content, and the temperature and fryingperiod (Márquez & Añón, 1986).Color of fried potatoes has been measured usually inunits
L
*
a
*
b
* using either a colorimeter or speci
W
c dataacquisition and image processing systems.
L
*
a
*
b
* is aninternational standard for color measurements, adoptedby the Commission Internationale d’Eclairage (CIE) in1976.
L
* is the luminance or lightness component, whichranges from 0 to 100, and parameters
a
* (from green tored) and
b
* (from blue to yellow) are the two chromaticcomponents, which range from
¡
120 to 120 (Papadakis,Abdul-Malek, Kamdem & Yam 2000). In the
L
*
a
*
b
*space, the color perception is uniform which means thatthe Euclidean distance between two colors correspondsapproximately to the color di
erence perceived by thehuman eye (Hunt, 1991).Acrylamide has been classi
W
ed as probably carcino-genic in humans (Rosen & Hellenäs, 2002; Tareke,Rydberg, Karlsson, Eriksson, & Tornqvist, 2002). InApril 2002, Swedish researchers shocked the food safetyworld when they presented preliminary
W
ndings of acryl-amide in some fried and baked foods, most notablypotato chips and French fries, at levels of 30–2300
m/kg. As acrylamide has not been detected in unheated orboiled foods, it was considered to be formed duringheating at high temperatures. They attributed this fact tothe higher temperatures reached in Maillard nonenzy-matic browning reactions required for desirable color,
X
avor and aroma production (Coughlin, 2003). The datapublished so far indicate that a temperature >100°C isrequired for acrylamide formation (Becalski, Lau, Lewis,& Seaman, 2003).Tareke et al. (2002)showed that acryl- amide was formed by heating above 120°C certainstarch-based foods, such as potato chips, French fries,bread and processed cereals.Recently, research has focused on possible mecha-nisms of acrylamide formation in foods (Zyzak et al.,2003). Some international research groups have sepa-rately con
W
rmed a major Maillard reaction pathway foracrylamide formation (Mottram & Wedzicha, 2002;Stadler et al., 2002; Weißhaar & Gutsche, 2002). Signi
W-
cant amounts of acrylamide are formed by the high-tem-perature reaction of glucose and the common aminoacid asparagine (Coughlin, 2003). Since potato productsare specially high in asparagine, it is now thought thatthis Maillard reaction is most likely responsible for themajority of the acrylamide found in potato chips andFrench fries. Acrylamide in fried potatoes is largelyderived from heat-induced reactions between the aminogroup of the free amino acid asparagine and the car-bonyl group of reducing sugars such as glucose duringfrying. For frying temperatures between 120 and 150°C,it was found a linear correlation between acrylamidecontent of potato chips and their color represented bythe chromatic redness component
a
* (Pedreschi et al.,2005).The actual mechanism of acrylamide formation hasbeen recently published (Yaylayan, Wnorowski, & PerezLocas, 2003). Asparagine needs carbohydrates to gener-ate acrylamide. Potential of acrylamide formation isstrongly related to the sugar content such as glucose andfructose (Biedermann, Biedermann-Brem, Noti, & Grob,2002; Pedreschi et al., 2004). For instance, some authorsreported that the reduction of the sugar content byblanching or soaking could decrease acrylamide concen-tration by about 60% in potato chips (Haase, Matthäus,& Vosmann, 2003; Pedreschi et al., 2004). Wide varia-tions of acrylamide concentration in foods are, at leastpartially, caused by di
erent levels of precursors of acrylamide in various batches of raw materials (levels of asparagine and sugars
X
uctuate widely in raw potatotubers). Potato variety,
W
eld site and processing condi-tions (pre-treatments, temperatures and times) had anoticeable in
X
uence upon acrylamide formation. Foodsrich in both asparagine and glucose are largely derivedfrom plant sources such as potatoes, but apparently notanimal foods such as poultry, meat and
W
sh.Martin andAmes (2001)found that asparagine was the free aminoacid present in the highest amount in potatoes (93.9mg/100g). Asparagine content in potatoes depends on fac-tors like variety, location, fertilization, storage and pro-cessing (Davies, 1977; Hippe, 1988).The analytical methods for acrylamide determinationrelies on using: (i) gas chromatography and massspectrometry – GC–MS (Tareke et al., 2002), (ii) liquidchromatography and tandem mass spectrometry – LC– MS–MS (Rosen & Hellenäs, 2002). French fries andpotato crisps exhibit relatively high values of acrylamide424 and 1739
g/kg, respectively. Recently an analyticalmethod for analyzing acrylamide in co
ee was validated(Granby & Fagt, 2004).Jung, Choi, and Ju (2003)showed that lowering thepH with citric acid before frying was an e
Y
cient way toconsiderably diminish acrylamide formation in Frenchfries. On the other hand, some authors reported that bylowering frying temperature at atmospheric pressure of potato chips from 185 to 165°C, it was possible toreduce the acrylamide formation to a half (Haase et al.,2003; Pedreschi et al., 2004).Granda, Moreira, and Tichy(2004) applied vacuum frying for producing potato chipsand they could reduce acrylamide formation by 94%.These results suggest that there may be ways to reduceor prevent acrylamide formation by changing produc-tion and preparation methods. The objective of thiswork was to study acrylamide formation in potato strips
 
42
F. Pedreschi et al. / Food Research International 39 (2006) 40–46 
processed under di
erent conditions and determine itsrelation to the frying temperature and the color of thepotato pieces.
2. Materials and methods
 2.1. Materials
Potatoes (variety Bintje, 80g/100g of dry solids, higherdiameter
7
10cm) and vegetable oil (Fritao, Denmark)were the raw materials. Potatoes stored at 8°C and 95%of relative humidity were washed and peeled in an indus-trial peeler IMC (model M591E4, England). Strips of cross sections of 0.8
£
0.8cm
2
were cut from the pith of the parenchymatous region of potato tubers. A ruler anda knife were used to provide strips with a length of 5cm.
 2.2. Pre-treatments
Strips were rinsed immediately after cutting for 1minin distilled water to eliminate some starch materialadhering to the surface prior to frying. Then, 30 potatostrips were immersed in one liter of distilled water for thefollowing times: 60 and 120min before frying. Rinsedstrips in water without the water immersing treatmentwere considered as the control.Blanching was accomplished by immersing 30 rawpotato strips in 10 liters of distilled water (ratio of potato to water (g/g) of 
»
0.012). The following tempera-ture–time blanching treatments were applied over thepotato strips: (i) 50°C for 40min, (ii) 50°C for 80min,(iii) 70°C for 10min, (iv) 70°C for 45min, (v) 90°C for3min, (vi) 90°C for 10min.Additionally, 30 raw potato strips were immersed for60min either in one liter of 10g/L citric acid (J.T. Baker,Deventer, Holland) solution or in one liter of 10g/Lsodium pyrophosphate (Sigma–Aldrich, St. Louis, MO,US) solution. All experiments were run in triplicate.
 2.3. Frying conditions
Thirty strips of each pre-treatment were fried in anindustrial fryer containing 100L of oil at the followingtemperature–time conditions: (i) 150°C for 11min, (ii)170°C for 8.5min, (iii) 190°C for 6.5min. These condi-tions allowed the fried strips to reach
W
nal moisture con-tents of 
»
40g water/100g (wet basis). Fryingtemperature was maintained constant since the potatomass to oil mass ratio (g/g) was kept very low(
»
0.001333).
 2.4. Analysis
For acrylamide analysis, acrylamide (2-propeneamide) [CAS No. 79-06-1] (>99.5%) was obtained fromSigma–Aldrich (St. Louis, MO, US). Labelled
d3
-acryl-amide (>98%) was from Polymer Source Inc. (Dorval,Quebec Canada). The SPE columns were Isolute Multi-mode 300mg from International Sorbent Technology(Hengoed, Mid Glamorgan, UK). Mini uniprep Te
X
on
W
lter vials 500
L,
W
lter pore size 0.45
m, Whatman Int.Ltd (Kent, UK). The water used was MilliQ water (Mil-lipore Corp., Bedford, MA, USA). The acetonitril was of HPLC grade from Rathburn Chemicals (Walkerburn,Scotland). Formic acid for the eluent (0.1% in water) wasfrom Merck (Darmstadt, Germany). All stock solutionsof acrylamide and
d3
-acrylamide (1000 and 10
g/mL) aswell as calibration standards (2–30ng/L) were preparedin water and kept at
¡
18°C until use.4.00g of homogenised potato were extracted with40.0mL MilliQ water by an Ultra-turrax mixer (Janke &Kunkel, Staufen, Germany) (after addition of 200
L
d3
-acrylamide 10
g/mL as internal standard). Each analyti-cal batch included 1–2 spiked samples for recovery mea-surements. The samples were centrifuged for 10min at3500rpm (Hereaus Sepatech Megafuge 3.0 R, Osterode,Germany). The clean up was made on 300mg IsoluteMultimode SPE columns (IST), using an ASPEC TMXLi automatic SPE clean up system (Gilson Inc., Mid-dleton, WI, US). The SPE columns were conditionedwith acetonitrile (1mL) and water (2
£
2mL). The
W
rst500
L was discharged and the following 400
L of sam-ple was collected in Mini uniprep Te
X
on
W
lter HPLCvials.A HP1100 HPLC system (Agilent Technologies, PaloAlto, CA, USA) was used for acrylamide separation on aHypercarb column, 5
m, 50mm
£
2.1mm (ThermoHy-persil, Cheshire, UK,www.thermohypersil.co.uk) after aguard column (Phenomenex SecurityGuardTM, C18ODS, 4mm
£
2.0mm, Cheshire, UK). 10
L was injectedand eluted with 0.1% formic acid in water at a
X
ow of 250
Lmin
¡
1
. The MS/MS detection was performed on aQuattro Ultima triple quadrupole instrument with mass-lynx software (Micromass Ltd., Manchester, UK). Theelectrospray was operated in the positive ion mode, andthe capillary was set to 3.0kV, the cone voltage was 31V,and the collision energy 10eV. The source temperaturewas set at 120°C and the desolvation temperature at400°C. Nitrogen was used as nebulizer gas (
X
ow500Lh
¡
1
) and desolvation gas (
X
ow 150Lh
¡
1
), andargon was used as collision gas at a pressure of 2.3e
¡
3
mbar. The multiple reaction monitoring (MRM)mode of the degradation patterns
m
/
z
72
!
55 (acrylam-ide) and
m
/
z
75
!
58 (
d3
-acrylamide) were used forquanti
W
cation. Acrylamide analyses were done in a labo-ratory accredited for acrylamide analysis in foods byThe Danish Accreditation Body.Fried potato strip color was measured using aMinolta Chromo Meter CR 200b attached to a data-processor DP-100 using the CIE Lab
L
*,
a
* and
b
* colorscale. Triplicate readings were carried out at 20°C on

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