Air-frying, pretreatment may decrease acrylamide in potatoes

April 15, 2015

A study published in the Journal of Food Science shows that air-frying and pretreatment soaking can lower acrylamide levels in fried potatoes.

The potatoes (Frisia variety) were chosen because of the variety’s year-round availability in Spain. The potatoes were sorted, washed, peeled, cut into 7 mm thick slices, and cored with a stainless steel core borer to produce discs. The experiments were performed in two different periods of time, March–April and May–June, in order to analyze the total reducing sugars content of potatoes used in each period. The amount of reducing sugars impacts acrylamide generation and color changes during frying.

The researchers investigated the effect of air-frying technology, in combination with a pretreatment of soaking the samples in different chemical agent solutions (citric acid, glycine, calcium lactate, sodium chloride, or nicotinic acid [vitamin B3]), on the generation of acrylamide in fried potatoes. The experiments were conducted at 180°C by means of air-frying and deep-oil-frying, as a reference technology. Based on the evolution of color crust with frying time, it could be concluded that the rate of Maillard reaction decreased as the initial reducing sugars content increased in the raw material, and was also lower for deep-oil-frying than for air-frying regardless of pretreatments applied.

The researchers found that air-frying reduced acrylamide content by about 90% compared with conventional deep-oil-frying without a pretreatment being necessary. However, deep-oil fried potatoes pretreated with solutions of nicotinic acid, citric acid, glycine at 1%, and NaCl at 2% presented much lower acrylamide levels (80–90% reduction) than nonpretreated samples.

The researchers concluded that air-frying is a promising technology for obtaining healthy fried products. In addition, the application of a pretreatment became an important step for acrylamide mitigation for deep-oil-frying. They noted that the sensory repercussion of any strategy to reduce acrylamide generation should be evaluated before application.