Research: AMREIN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 109


AMREIN and colleagues, Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland, have found acrylamide in gingerbread and described possible ways of reducing this toxicity.


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of ingredients, additives, and process conditions on acrylamide formation in gingerbread.


The sources for reducing sugars and free asparagine were identified, and the effect of different baking agents on acrylamide formation was evaluated.


Ammonium hydrogen carbonate (hartshorn salt, the traditional raising agent for gingerbread) strongly enhanced acrylamide formation. Acrylamide concentration and browning intensity both increased with baking time and correlated with each other. The use of sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda) as baking agent reduced the acrylamide concentration by more than 60%. Free asparagine was a limiting factor for acrylamide formation, but the acrylamide content could also be lowered by replacing reducing sugars with sucrose or by adding organic acids.


A significant reduction of acrylamide in gingerbread can be achieved by using sodium bicarbonate as baking agent, minimizing free asparagine, and avoiding prolonged baking.


Amrein TM, Schonbachler B, Escher F, Amado R. Acrylamide in gingerbread: critical factors for formation and possible ways for reduction. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry 52(13): 4282-4288, Jun 30, 2004.

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