Effects of fungicide treatment on free amino acid concentration and acrylamide-forming potential in wheat

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Curtis, T. Y., Powers, S. J. and Halford, N. G. 2016. Effects of fungicide treatment on free amino acid concentration and acrylamide-forming potential in wheat. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64 (51), pp. 9689-9696.

AuthorsCurtis, T. Y., Powers, S. J. and Halford, N. G.

Acrylamide forms from free asparagine and reducing sugars during frying, baking, roasting, or high-temperature processing, and cereal products are major contributors to dietary acrylamide intake. Free asparagine concentration is the determining factor for acrylamide-forming potential in cereals, and this study investigated the effect of fungicide application on free asparagine accumulation in wheat grain. Free amino acid concentrations were measured in flour from 47 varieties of wheat grown in a field trial in 2011–2012. The wheat had been supplied with nitrogen and sulfur and treated with growth regulators and fungicides. Acrylamide formation was measured after the flour had been heated at 180 °C for 20 min. Flour was also analyzed from 24 (of the 47) varieties grown in adjacent plots that were treated in identical fashion except that no fungicide was applied, resulting in visible infection by Septoria tritici, yellow rust, and brown rust. Free asparagine concentration in the fungicide-treated wheat ranged from 1.596 to 3.987 mmol kg–1, with a significant (p < 0.001 to p = 0.006, F test) effect of variety for not only free asparagine but all of the free amino acids apart from cysteine and ornithine. There was also a significant (p < 0.001, F test) effect of variety on acrylamide formation, which ranged from 134 to 992 μg kg–1. There was a significant (p < 0.001, F test) correlation between free asparagine concentration and acrylamide formation. Both free asparagine concentration and acrylamide formation increased in response to a lack of fungicide treatment, the increases in acrylamide ranging from 2.7 to 370%. Free aspartic acid concentration also increased, whereas free glutamic acid concentration increased in some varieties but decreased in others, and free proline concentration decreased. The study showed disease control by fungicide application to be an important crop management measure for mitigating the problem of acrylamide formation in wheat products.

Keywordsacrylamide; asparagine; food safety; free amino acids; fungicide; processing contaminants; wheat
Year of Publication2016
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Journal citation64 (51), pp. 9689-9696
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04520
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeWheat
BBSRC LINK: Genetic improvement of wheat to reduce the potential for acrylamide formation during processing
[20:20 Wheat] Maximising yield potential of wheat
PhytoPath, an infrastructure for hundreds of plant pathogen genomes [2014-2017]
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 Dec 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted06 Dec 2016
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)

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