GERMANY – c-LEcta, part of Kerry Group, in collaboration with ANKA, a German coffee technology firm, has introduced a breakthrough food enzyme dubbed Acrylerase, aiming to minimize acrylamide levels in instant coffee and ready-to-drink coffee beverages. 

This innovative solution represents a significant stride in food safety, providing a patented enzyme technology designed to specifically target acrylamide. 

Acrylamide, recognized as a potential carcinogen, is formed during the exposure of starchy food materials to high temperatures, such as during the roasting and extraction processes involved in the production of soluble coffee and coffee extracts. 

The development of Acrylerase marks the first commercially available enzyme capable of directly decomposing acrylamide, offering an effective means of on-site control during processing.  

The enzyme can be seamlessly integrated into existing manufacturing processes, making it a cost-effective solution for regulatory compliance. 

Dr. Marc Struhalla, CEO of c-LEcta, expressed enthusiasm about the market introduction of Acrylerase, stating, “This innovative enzyme product offers a practical solution for soluble coffee manufacturers. Acrylerase can efficiently reduce acrylamide levels without compromising taste or disrupting production processes.” 

Jan Schwital, Managing Director of ANKA, highlighted the simplicity and efficiency of Acrylerase, emphasizing its significance in controlling acrylamide in instant coffee and coffee extracts. 

With growing consumer awareness of acrylamide-related risks, regulatory measures are being implemented in various countries.  

South Korea and the EU have already enacted directives and regulations to mitigate acrylamide, including the introduction of benchmark levels and monitoring across different product categories, including soluble coffee.  

Discussions within the European Commission are also ongoing regarding the potential introduction of fixed maximum limits. 

“Acrylerase not only offers soluble coffee manufacturers a much simpler and more flexible way to comply with acrylamide regulations than was previously possible, but also enables usage of coffee volumes that may otherwise be rejected due to high acrylamide formation,” remarked Oliver Süße-Herrmann, Managing Director of ANKA. 

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