ASNInsta Testing

Instant testing for Asparagine in food

Instant test ‘at the gate’

‘ASNInsta Test’ is a newly developed proof-of-concept test which allows food manufacturers to measure asparagine content in real-time. The Acrylamide EU regulation has forced all food manufacturers to show significant efforts to reduce acrylamide formation in food.

Why test with us

The free amino acid, asparagine, is one of the main limiting factors of acrylamide formation in wheat products. The current golden-standard method for analysis of asparagine content takes ten days to complete. However, food manufacturers need a more straight-forward, faster method to analyse raw products in factory settings. ASNInsta test allows asparagine to be measured easyily, intstantly (within ten minutes), and reliably. This helps food manufacturers to confirm that they are reducing acrylamide forming potential as low as reasonably achievable in thier products.

Curtis Analytics offers the current state-of-the-art testing technologies, carrying out the full-spectrum of amino acid, acrylamide and sugar analyses.

Curtis Analytics has developed and modelled the optimisation of the asparagine hydrolysis assay, which is now completed and working effectively for wheat, potato and rye samples.

Previously, Curtis Analytics optimised and published research on three asparagine synthetases from wheat along with the first mathematical model of the TaASN enzymes kinetics. Additionally, Curtis Analytics analyses wheat, rye and potato samples for amino acids, particularly asparagine, as a commercial service.


High quality testing

In providing food manufacturers with a rapid test result for asparagine (ASN) content, ASNInstaTest will allow food manufacturers to:

  1. Establish levels of ASN in their product rapidly
  2. Decrease ASN levels in their products by choosing the best ingredients for each product
  3. Amend current procedures to decrease ASN, and hence acrylamide, in their products.

Furthermore, ASNInsta Test will reduce production and storage costs (by identifying low-quality ingredients), and provide fast, affordable testing for primary producers (which is currently too expensive for growers). This project is a rapid response to a need identified by our current industrial customers, driven by new EU regulations. The need for rapid testing arises when flour enters the factory. Currently, flour and grain are tested at-the-gate for protein content using NIR spectroscopy, but this technique is unable to measure free ASN. To comply with imminent EU regulations, every factory should provide evidence that they are testing for the presence of asparagine/acrylamide and adjusting their processes to decrease acrylamide formation in products.

A rapid test for ASN is not currently available. ASNInstaTest is the first test of its type and will be a key tool to help UK and EU companies to  solve the acrylamide problem in food and to comply with EU Regulations.

Summary of wider benefits from the Project

Potential beneficiaries of the ASNInta test include:

  • Agricultural Industry,
  • farmers
  • breeders,

through generation of information about potential varieties for breeding programmes, targeted selection and/or targeted mutagenesis for low ASN wheat varieties. This is especially important for sensitive wheat products such as breakfast cereals, biscuits and bread.

Rapid measurements of ASN levels will be made available for all 28 EU member states and could potentially lead to an EU-funded project to mitigate the acrylamide problem in Europe. This will further lead to healthy wheat products.

Curtis Analytics is commited to delivering our research outputs in an understandable and targeted way to a wider audience, including industry partners, farmers, students and scientists to make them aware of our new technology with the aim of helping them improve thier wheat products.

The technology will help to strengthen existing industrial collaborations and develop new collaborations with industry, particularly Europe, China, US and Brazil, along with expanding awareness of the acrylamide issue.


Providing this test will allow manufacturers to test thier ingredients and products in-house in real time, rather than waiting for 10 days for results of laboratory-based analyses.  This will allow them to release ingredients for processing earlier and reject ingredients which have high ASN content before processing.

In addition, food production companies will be able to pinpoint the parts of thier processes which are most important for acrylamide formation by following the decrease and increase in ASN through thier process. This will allow them to apply mitagation stratagies where they are most needed and will be most effective.

Curtis Analytics Ltd is commited to helping food manufacturers to reduce acrylamide content and produce healthy food.

scientific pipette and tubes containing liquid

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Telephone: 07766 748793

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