` In the year 2002, a substance dubbed 'probably carcinogenic to humans' by the WHO called acrylamide, was found in practically every fried or baked good. (Is that anything like the charred part of grilled food?) It is produced when carbohydrates transform in extreme heat and turn golden brown.
` Is it really that dangerous in the amount of cooked starches we eat? I don't know, but I doubt it can be good!
` This is the weird part... According to the Nature article I read this from:
Thomas Amrein, a food chemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, presented a possible solution to the problem this week at the European Chemistry Congress in Budapest, Hungary (see our newsblog for conference coverage). "This is probably the only approach that solves, rather than fights, the problem," he claims.` What you do to prevent it from forming is add a pinch of bacterial enzyme called asparaginase to the dough. It chops up asparagine, which is what forms into acrylamide in baking conditions. According to Amrein, it nullifies acrylamide in foods up to 80%, yet doesn't affect the taste at all!
` Unfortunately, though it is being used as an anticancer drug, which may cause serious side effects when injected, it is not approved for food usage. Before you say, 'what? They want to put anticancer drugs doing its job, while it was in food, now?' keep in mind that the asparaginase would be destroyed in the high heat of an oven.
` Other ways to reduce acrylamide is to use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) instead of ammonium bicarbonate), and to put a tiny bit of citric acid in gingerbread, among other things. When combined, these ought to help get rid of the acrylamide.
` But, I ask; would that really reduce the amount of cancer we get? How much does anyone really know about this? Well, only time and experimentation will tell, I suppose.