CANADA – Bioengieering company Renaissance BioScience Corp has received new patent allowances and grants for its non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast (ARY) from regulatory authorities in China, Russia, India, Australia and Vietnam.  

These five new patent grants and allowances for the ARY joined previously issued patents from the US, Japan, Indonesia, Chile and Colombia. 

The company noted that it still had patents pending approval in multiple additional markets globally. 

Acrylamide is a substance that forms through a natural chemical reaction between sugars and asparagine, an amino acid, in plant-based foods – including potato and cereal-grain-based foods.  

The substance forms during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking. 

In research studies, high levels of acrylamide caused cancer in laboratory animals, but the levels of acrylamide used in these studies were much greater than those found in human food.  

The carcinogen remains a global concern—especially for children, who tend to consume more than adults due to their daily diet of many common foods that unfortunately contain this carcinogen (crackers, bread, cookies, cereals and the like). 

Developed using ‘adaptive evolution engineering techniques’, the ARY – when added during the standard manufacturing processing stage – begins to consume asparagine and reduces the potential for acrylamide formation when the mixture is later cooked above 120°C (248°F).  

Renaissance BioScience chief executive and chief science officer John Husnik, notes that the patents were key to protecting the use of the company’s acrylamide-reducing yeast in many different and important food manufacturing applications.  

“We are especially pleased that our acrylamide-reducing yeast is finding acceptance and being commercialized by food manufacturers in markets all around the world with a mandate to reduce the presence of this contaminant in their products,” Husnik said. 

 Last year, scientists from the University of Bristol use genome editing to reduce levels of acrylamide found in baked and toasted wheat-based foods. 

Project leader Professor Nigel Halford said it was the first such trial of genome edited wheat to be carried out in Europe. 

He further emphasized that it was essential to test the wheat in field trials to see how it performs, not only in terms of asparagine concentration but also yield, protein content and other quality and agronomic traits. 

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