Enzyme to counter toxin in tasty food

ever since acrylamide was found in food it seemed to be the ultimate confirmation that everything tasty is bad for health. Here was a compound that was a probable carcinogen and a possible neurotoxin, present in practically every fried or baked food. Fortunately, for gastronomes, an enzyme could offer a way out.

The answer, according to Thomas Amrein, a food chemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, lies with a bacterial enzyme called asparaginase, which snips up precursor chemicals called asparagine so that they cannot form acrylamide which is produced by the Maillard reaction