Functional Technologies Corp. of Vancouver says it has developed, tested and filed patent applications for yeast technology that reduces the formation of acrylamide.
The company works on yeast research and development.
Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally forms in certain foods – especially fried or baked goods that are rich in carbohydrates and low in protein – during processing or cooking at high temperatures.
It’s commonly found in bread, cookies, crackers, baby food, breakfast cereal, French fries and potato chips.
It was known to cause cancer in experimental animals, says Health Canada, and it was the Swedish National Food Authority that first confirmed it to be found in food in 2002.
The World Health Organization has categorized acrylamide as a Group 2A carcinogen and California health officials recently proposed that acrylamide be listed as a known reproductive toxicant, in addition to its inclusion as a carcinogen.
Health Canada says since acrylamide is known to cause cancer in experimental animals, further research on the effects of exposure to acrylamide is needed before the risks to human health associated with acrylamide exposure from food sources can be fully understood.
Functional Technologies says it will be partnering with companies in the yeast and food processing industries to accelerate its proprietary yeast strain product development and commercialization.
“Acrylamide is a high-priority concern among consumers, the food industry and health regulators around the world,” said Garth Greenham, president and COO of Functional Technologies.
“Preliminary lab testing is positive and we’re very excited to utilize yeast, with its long history of use and familiarity in the food industry, to help resolve this important health concern.”