Acrylamide is assumed to be a potential carcinogen, and reference values have therefore been implemented in EU legislation. Thus, the food industry needs to reduce the acrylamide content in consumer products to the lowest possible value. In this study, roasted rye was evaluated for its suitability as a coffee substitution product with respect to its acrylamide content. The influence of process modifiers, free asparagine content, storage, and rye type on the final content of acrylamide was investigated. Changes in carbohydrate composition and brightness caused by the roasting process were described. Sample analysis was conducted via GC-MS and HPLC-CAD. Existing methods were adapted to roasted rye as the sample matrix. CaCl 2 and asparaginase treatment as well as pH adjustments prior to roasting did not prove to reduce the acrylamide content. A significantly (* p < 0.027) lower free asparagine content in the raw material resulted in a lower formation of acrylamide in the final product. The acrylamide content significantly decreased (**** p < 0.0001) after 3 (1100 ± 18 µg kg −1) and 6 (490 ± 7 µg kg −1) months of long-term storage. Only samples stored for 6 months (490 ± 7 µg kg −1) met the EU acrylamide content requirements (<500 µg kg −1) for grain-based coffee substitution products.
- Coffee substitute
- Roasted rye