Skip to main content

198. Acrylamide Detection in Food Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy

Jared Seale, Mark Skinner, Maranda Cantrell, Crystal Paulus, Dr. Owen M. McDougal


Acrylamide is formed under conditions where temperatures exceed 120 °C in foodstuffs containing asparagine and reducing sugars.  The Maillard reaction is responsible for acrylamide production.

Chemical Structures and Process for acrylamide


  • Rodent tests at three orders of magnitude higher acrylamide concentration than the parts per billion level found in cooked foods led to the ‘suspected carcinogen’ designation.
  • Idaho is the number one grower and processor of potatoes in the country.  Current methods for acrylamide quantitation require expensive instrumentation, employee training, and time.
  • California is the fifth largest economy in the world and Proposition 65 requires that acrylamide as a suspected carcinogen be listed  on food product labels for consumers.
  • Fourier transform near infrared (FT-NIR) is fast, easy to use and would be a practical quanti-tation method for industry use.
  • Potato or other food samples can be analyzed by NIR as liquid extract or solid matrix conditions.



Product → Lyophilizer → French Fry Flour → Acrylamide Standard → Flour/Solution Slurry → Near Infrared Spectrometer
This method is being verified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
Process diagram
Derivatization of acrylamide by bromination is implemented to prevent polymerization during gas chromatography

Oil Analysis

Process photos
Titration of Free Fatty Acids (FFA), Testo 270 for Total Polar Materials (TPM), HPLC for Triglycerides, UV-Vis for p-anisidine

Research Question

Does oil degradation lead to an increase in acrylamide production?


Acrylamide Detection

Graph, contact presenter for specific data set
NIR spectrum of acrylamide standard where each series denote the varying concentration as described in the methods.
Graph, contact presenter for specific data set
Standard curve of acrylamide liquid standard acquired using partial least squares computational software that converts spectral overlay to a linear standard curve.

Oil Analysis

Graph, contact presenter for specific data set
UV-Vis spectra of fry oil solutions over the course of a five day frying period to measure the change in p-anisidine concentration over time.


  1. accessed
  2. Adedipe, O. E., et al (2017). MCJ 1851-1854
  3. Razia, S., et al (2016). IFRJ 23(5), 2188-2189
  4. Surma, M., et al (2016). JAFC 131, 99-100
  5. Mastovska, K et al (2006). JAFC