A perspective on the evaluation of safety risks in thermal processing of foods with an example for acrylamide formation in biscuits

Gokmen V.

QUALITY ASSURANCE AND SAFETY OF CROPS & FOODS, vol.6, no.3, pp.319-325, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.3920/qas2013.0387
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.319-325
  • Keywords: acrylamide, safety evaluation, thermal process, thermal process contaminants, FORMATION/ELIMINATION REACTIONS, KINETIC-MODEL, PRODUCTS, BAKING
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Thermal processing induces typical changes in foods such as enzyme inactivation, microbial destruction, as well as the development of desirable sensory characteristics. However, heating at elevated temperatures has been shown to generate potentially toxic compounds. In 2002, the discovery of acrylamide in fried potatoes caused a worldwide interest. It is a fact that numerous other toxicants can also be found in heated foods. Since safety remains as a primary objective, one of the challenges facing the food industry is to minimise these toxicants without adversely affecting desired attributes of thermal processing. To meet this challenge, it is essential to combine the knowledge on chemical mechanisms and process engineering. The Bigelow's procedure is used to evaluate a sterilisation process for the calculation of total lethality from the time-temperature history of food at the coldest point. This procedure could be successfully adapted to the baking process to evaluate acrylamide formation risk from the time-temperature history of biscuits recorded at the hottest point. Such an approach may provide a basis for thermal process safety calculations enabling better control of the risks associated with heat generated toxicants formed in foods during heating.