Genetic and agronomic approaches to decreasing acrylamide precursors in crop plants

Halford, Nigel G. and Muttucumaru, N. and Curtis, T. Y. and Parry, M. A J (2007) Genetic and agronomic approaches to decreasing acrylamide precursors in crop plants. Food Additives and Contaminants, 24 (Suppl.). pp. 26-36. ISSN 0265-203X

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Progress in developing genetic and agronomic approaches for reducing the levels of the principal precursors of acrylamide, asparagine and sugars in crop plants is reviewed. The factors that affect asparagine and sugar accumulation, particularly in cereal seeds and potato tubers, are described. Asparagine levels appear to be the key parameter in determining acrylamide formation in processed wheat flour and agronomic strategies for reducing asparagine accumulation in wheat grain are reviewed. Sulphur availability has been shown to be particularly important, with sulphur deprivation causing a dramatic increase in grain asparagine levels and acrylamide risk. Nitrogen availability is also a factor, with increasing nitrogen availability causing grain asparagine levels and acrylamide risk to rise. In potato, attention has been focused on sugars, and there has been some success in reducing sugar accumulation in stored potatoes by genetic modification, with a resultant reduction in acrylamide formation. However, the wisdom or otherwise of this dogma is discussed. Other possible genetic targets for manipulation or development as genetic markers in breeding programmes are reviewed. Plant breeders and farmers are encouraged to exploit the varietal differences in acrylamide risk that have already been identified and to develop good agronomic practice to reduce the levels of acrylamide precursors in cereals and potato.

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Journal Article
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Food Additives and Contaminants
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21 Oct 2015 05:03
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 01:42