Acrylamide is a probably carcinogenic chemical found in products such as crisps, fries and cigarette smoke.
What is acrylamide?
Its presence in food was discovered by chance in 2002 by Swedish researchers.
How is acrylamide formed?
Acrylamide is mainly formed from starch and the amino acid asparagine, found naturally in many foods.
The formation of acrylamide depends on:
- the ingredients: products with a sugar content, potatoes, biscuits, etc.
- storage conditions: cold promotes the production of sugars in potatoes
- processing conditions: high-temperature cooking: frying, roasting, etc.
The chemical mechanism underlying the process of acrylamide formation during high temperature cooking is called the Maillard reaction. It is also this reaction that gives fried foods their characteristic colour, taste and consistency.
What are the foods that contain acrylamide?
- fried potatoes
- soft bread (crust), toast, gingerbread
What are the health risks of acrylamide? What can be done to avoid acrylamide?
- vary your diet as much as possible
- consume fries, chips, biscuits, coffee and coffee substitutes in moderation
- soak potatoes in water before frying
- avoid burning but lightly brown chips at a maximum temperature of 175°C
- cook fried potatoes until golden and not brown
- toast bread as lightly as possible
- bake your bread, biscuits and your pizzas as lightly as possible
- vary your cooking methods: steam, stew, boil, etc.
- avoid smoking and passive smoking, especially among children and pregnant women
- Belgium.be | Tips to reduce acrylamide in food cooking by roasting or frying
- Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety (FAFCS) | Acrylamide
- European Potato Processors’ Association (EUPPA) | Goodfries.eu