Quantification of 3-aminopropionamide in cocoa, coffee and cereal products
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Based on recent results confirming 3-aminopropionamide (3-APA) as a very effective precursor of acrylamide in the absence of further “catalysts”, this compound was quantified for the first time in cocoa masses, cocoa beans, coffee and cereal products by LC–MS–MS after derivatisation with dansyl chloride. Cocoa masses contained >3000 μg/kg of 3-APA, but varied significantly in its concentration. For the quantification of acrylamide (AA) in cocoa and coffee, an improved isolation procedure using charcoal was developed. In various samples of unroasted and roasted cocoa beans, the concentrations of AA were by a factor of >5 lower than those of 3-APA, but the concentrations of 3-APA and AA were more closely correlated as compared to the concentrations of AA and Asparagine. Experiments on authentic cocoa beans from Ghana and Sulawesi indicated that the thermal generation of 3-APA during roasting was much more pronounced as compared to its biochemical formation. By administering fermented cocoa beans with [13C4 15N2]-asparagine before roasting, 3-APA was confirmed as transient intermediate in AA formation during cocoa roasting. Among the cereal products analysed, in particular popcorn contained quite high amounts of 3-APA, which were also well correlated with the AA concentration. Contrary, in coffee products, 3-APA was always lower than AA.
KeywordsCocoa Coffee Cereals 3-Aminopropionamide Acrylamide Labelling studies
The authors gratefully acknowledge the skillful assistance by Jörg Stein and S. Kaviani-Nejad. Thanks are also to Ines Otte for performing the LC-MS-MS measurements and Käthe Schiesser for performing the amino acid analyses.
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