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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Impact of harvest year on amino acids and sugars in potatoes and effect on acrylamide formation during frying

Viklund, Gunilla A. I.; Olsson, Kerstin M.; Sjoholm, Ngegerd M.; Skog, Kerstin I.


Acrylamide is formed via the Maillard reaction between reducing sugars and asparagine in a number of carbohydrate-rich foods during heat treatment. High acrylamide levels have been found in potato products processed at high temperatures. To examine the impact of harvest year, information on weather conditions during growth, that is, temperature, precipitation, and light, was collected, together with analytical data on the concentrations of free amino acids and sugars in five potato clones and acrylamide contents in potato chips (commonly known as crisps in Europe). The study was conducted for 3 years (2004-2006). The contents of acrylamide precursors differed between the clones and the three harvest years; the levels of glucose were up to 4.2 times higher in 2006 than in 2004 and 2005, and the levels of fructose were 5.6 times higher, whereas the levels of asparagine varied to different extents. The high levels of sugars in 2006 were probably due to the extreme weather conditions during the growing season, and this was also reflected in acrylamide content that was approximately twice as high as in preceding years. The results indicate that acrylamide formation is dependent not only on the content and relative amounts of sugars and amino acids but also on other factors, for example, the food matrix, which may influence the availability of the reactants to participate in the Maillard reaction.


acrylamide; potato crisps; asparagines; glucose; fructose; sucrose; harvest year; weather conditions

Published in

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
2008, volume: 56, number: 15, pages: 6180-6184
Publisher: American Chemical Society

Authors' information

Viklund, Gunilla Å.I.
Lund University
Olsson, Kerstin
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Plant breeding and Biotechnology
Sjöholm, Ingegerd M.
Lund University
Skog, Kerstin I.
Lund University

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

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