The amino acid asparagine is considered the rate limiting precursor in the formation of acrylamide in cereal-based baked foods. However, there are no data on the quantity of this precursor in Canadian wheat. Wholemeal and white flour samples obtained from 30 Canadian hard red spring wheat grown in the Prairie provinces were analysed for asparagine content by liquid chromatography. The asparagine content varied from 302 to 965 and 116 to 336 μg g−1 for wholemeal and white flour, respectively. Therefore, wheat grown in Canada has similar asparagine levels to wheat grown in other parts of the world. Analysis of variance suggested that asparagine content is significantly affected by genotype (p < 0.001), suggesting that breeding strategies could be investigated to produce cultivars with lower levels of this amino acid. Few significant correlations were observed between wheat and flour quality parameters and asparagine content, although there was a tendency towards weaker dough strength indices with increasing asparagine content.
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Vol. 99 • No. 3