The firm says the reduction was more than 90% and was achieved "well under the normal processing times associated with the application". Asparagine is a key precursor to the formation of the mutagen, as well as the neurologically and reproductively toxic chemical, acrylamide.
The firm worked with major industry partners to test its product's performance in a food industry environment, simulating industry standard food processing and manufacturing procedures.
The initial studies involved mixing Functional Technologies' in-house AP yeast strains, possessing varying asparagine-reducing strengths, with a commercial dry mixture being employed in the production of various kinds of food products. Under normal commercial production conditions, the dry mix is subjected to various processing protocols, including a two-hour fermentation period, which naturally yields high levels of asparagine (ie not artificially elevated). As a result, highly elevated levels of acrylamide are observed in the end-food product.
Under simulated commercial conditions, Functional Technologies observed "significant reduction of asparagine consistently and in a time-dependent manner with each yeast strain tested". One specific yeast variant demonstrated particularly strong results, wherein under the standard conditions defined by the third party, asparagine was reduced by more than 45% within the first 30 minutes of treatment, 95% within 90 minutes, and to undetectable levels within 120 minutes. Control tests using ordinary baker's yeast strains showed no reduction of asparagine levels, at any time within the conventional 120-minute processing period.