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An investigation of the occurance of ethyl carbamate in bread, toast and other similar products
Project Code: C03020
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Hamlet, C ;
Jayaratne, S; Morrison, C
The aim of this study was to determine whether bread produced from domestic bread machines contains significantly higher levels of process contaminants, i.e. 3- monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD), acrylamide and ethyl carbamate, compared to retail products.
Outcome/key results obtained
1. Compared to the commercial products, levels of 3-MCPD were slightly higher while ethyl carbamate levels showed a four-fold increase in domestic white and wholemeal breads respectively. Acrylamide levels were significantly lower (three-fold) in domestic breads.
2. For a given recipe, baking performance and contaminant generation was very consistent both within and between bread machines. There was a slight trend towards higher 3-MCPD and acrylamide levels in wholemeal breads compared to white breads from each bread machine.
3. Baking performance and contaminant generation was recipe dependent: there was a trend towards higher levels of each contaminant with decreasing loaf volume; bread mixes containing added onion or tomato produced significantly more acrylamide.
4. Dough from a bread machine produced higher contaminant levels when baked in a fan oven (hotter) and the level of all contaminants increased linearly with increasing bake time.
5. With the exception of 3-MCPD, all contaminants showed losses (from spiked doughs) during baking in a bread machine. These losses were higher in oven baked breads and more so for acrylamide and ethyl carbamate.
6. Crust colour (L value) is a good indicator of contaminant levels in all white breads.
What it means and why it’s important
This study has shown that higher levels of ethyl carbamate, and lower levels of acrylamide, can be formed in most bread from domestic bread machines than in C03020 - Contaminants in bread from bread machines commercial products. However, the overall level of all process contaminants measured in breads remains very low.
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