Clean label acrylamide-reducing yeast technology gets the nod in five new territories

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Acrylamide is formed when carb-rich snacks are cooked above 120°C. Pic: GettyImages/piotr_malczyk
Acrylamide is formed when carb-rich snacks are cooked above 120°C. Pic: GettyImages/piotr_malczyk

Related tags Acrylamide Renaissance BioScience Carcinogen Maillard reaction

Renaissance BioScience has been granted new patents for its non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast (ARY) in China, Russia, India, Australia and Vietnam.

According to the Canadian bioengineering company, the ARY is a clean label ingredient that reduces the formation of acrylamide in carb-rich foods like biscuits, chips, crackers, bread, cereals and some snacks.

The sources of these products (grains, potatoes and rice) naturally contain asparagine, a precursor amino that converts into acrylamide during cooking (baking, frying, roasting and toasting), when temperatures go above 120°C (248°F). It continues to form until either all the asparagine has been converted or cooking temp drops below 120°C.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies acrylamide as a ‘probable human carcinogen’ – increasing the risk of developing cancer for people of all ages.

The five new ARY patent grants join the list of previously issued patents from the US, Japan, Indonesia, Chile and Colombia. Renaissance also has patents pending in multiple other markets. 

Global concern

“As an intellectual property-focused company, we are pleased to receive the new patent grants and allowances in the major markets of China, Russia, India, Australia and Vietnam,”​ said Dr John Husnik, Renaissance BioScience CEO and CSO.

“Acrylamide is a carcinogen of global concern – especially for children who tend to consume more than adults due to their daily diet of many common foods that unfortunately contain this carcinogen (crackers, bread, cookies, cereals and the like).”

Acrylamide was first discovered to be widespread in many different foods in the early 2000s. Since then, a number of global bodies have moved to regulate its presence as a public health issue.

Renaissance’s ARY technology has been licensed globally and can be used by manufacturers around the world aiming for the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) benchmarking system in play since 2018.

The yeast is added at the beginning of the processing cycle, where it immediately begins to consume asparagine and reduces the potential for acrylamide formation when the product is later cooked above 120°C.

Further cooking at home can even restart acrylamide formation, which is why consumers are advised not to cook their toast or French fries too dark (Maillard reaction). Products containing ARY, though, according to Renaissance, allows for all cooking methods with less risk of acrylamide formation.

“We are especially pleased that our acrylamide-reducing yeast is finding acceptance and being commercialised by food manufacturers in markets all around the world with a mandate to reduce the presence of this contaminant in their products,” ​added Dr Husnik.

Vancouver-based Renaissance is an environmental impact company that develops market-ready, functional microorganisms that provide solutions to a broad range of health, environmental and industrial problems.

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