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How much reducing sugar may potatoes contain to avoid excessive acrylamide formation during roasting and baking?


For many consumers, potatoes fried or roasted in professional or private kitchens are the most important source of exposure to acrylamide. Acrylamide formation can be reduced by appropriate preparation techniques, but suitable potatoes are a prerequisite. The tendency of potato to form acrylamide can be approximated by the content of reducing sugar. Roast potatoes (hash browns, Rösti) and oven-fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) were prepared to optimum culinary quality regarding crispiness and then evaluated in terms of browning, roasting flavor and acrylamide content. Preparation procedures were optimized to produce a minimum of acrylamide. It is concluded that potatoes with less than 0.2 g/kg fresh weight fructose and glucose are not suitable for roasting (insufficient browning and flavor), while roasted products of minimum crispiness prepared from potatoes with more than 1 g/kg reducing sugar contain more than 500 µg/kg acrylamide. It is proposed that potatoes which may be used for roasting and frying should contain less than 1 g/kg fresh weight of reducing sugar. This can easily be fulfilled with the most important potato cultivars grown in Switzerland, but presupposes that potatoes are no longer stored at 4 °C.

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We thank Th. Hebeisen from the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture FAL, Reckenholz-Zürich, for the samples of potatoes stored at controlled conditions.

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Correspondence to Koni Grob.

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Biedermann-Brem, S., Noti, A., Grob, K. et al. How much reducing sugar may potatoes contain to avoid excessive acrylamide formation during roasting and baking?. Eur Food Res Technol 217, 369–373 (2003).

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  • Acrylamide
  • Roast potato
  • Rösti
  • Bratkartoffeln
  • Reducing sugar