Hamada A Aboubakr, Mohammed Yousef

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The risk of acrylamide has only come to the attention of scientists recently, as its discovery in foods was accidental. Acrylamide is formed in many types of food cooked at high temperatures, presence of acrylamide in many foods has been recently reported. Four main theories have been proposed to explain the mechanisms by which acrylamide is formed in food: Theory 1 : Direct formation from amino acids; Theory 2 : Pathways based on acrolein intermediates; Theory 3 : Pathways based on an acrylic acid intermediate and Theory 4 : Pathways based on Maillard browning precursors .A hypothesis that acrylamide is formed by/upon cooking was confirmed in experimental animals by verification of the identity of the acrylamide adduct in haemoglobin (Hb). This was comprehensively approved by GC/MS analysis and the demonstration that the increased adduct levels were compatible with expectation from the contents of acrylamide determined in fried feeds. A significant dependence of acrylamide formation on temperature was demonstrated. Extensive efforts have been made to assess human exposure to acrylamide by monitoring several metabolites excreted in the urine as well as products resulting from biological alkylation by acrylamide. Results from in vivo studies conducted on rats explored that dermal absorption ranged from approximately 14 to 61% of the applied dose. Meanwhile, it was obvious that acrylamide is widely distributed in all tissues of the body. The major metabolite formed from acrylamide via the cytochrome P450 pathway is glycidamide. Conjugation to reduced glutathione (GSH) catalyzed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) and excretion as mercapturic acid is a major pathway for the metabolism of acrylamide. Experiments revealed neuro and reproductive toxicity of acrylamide. Notwithstanding, the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified acrylamide as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Acrylamide in foods can be determined by GC/MS, HPLC and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) using the MS/MS mode. For the GC/MS and HPLC methods, the achieved detection level of acrylamide was 5 µg/kg while for LC-MS/MS method was 10 µg/kg. The latter method is simple and preferable for routine analysis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlexandria Journal of Food Science and Technology
StatePublished - 2004


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