Main content area

Reducing the potential for processing contaminant formation in cereal products

Curtis, Tanya Y., Postles, Jennifer, Halford, Nigel G.
Journal of cereal science 2014 v.59 no.3 pp. 382-392
Maillard reaction, acrylamides, adverse effects, analytical methods, equipment, food industry, foods, grain products, hydrogenation, lipid peroxidation, polyunsaturated fatty acids, product quality, risk, supply chain
Processing contaminants may be defined as substances that are produced in a food when it is cooked or processed, are not present or are present at much lower concentrations in the raw, unprocessed food, and are undesirable either because they have an adverse effect on product quality or because they are potentially harmful. The presence of very low levels of processing contaminants in common foods is becoming an increasingly important issue for the food industry, as developments in analytical techniques and equipment bring foods under closer and closer scrutiny. This review considers the formation of lipid oxidation products, hydrogenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids to prevent lipid oxidation and the associated risk of trans fatty acid formation. The formation of acrylamide in the Maillard reaction is described, as well as the genetic and agronomic approaches being taken to reduce the acrylamide-forming potential of cereal grain. The multiple routes for the formation of furan and associated chemicals, including hydroxymethylfurfuryl, are also described. The evolving regulatory and public perception situations for these processing contaminants and their implications for the cereal supply chain are discussed, emphasising the need for cereal breeders to engage with the contaminants issue.