The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued draft guidance for industry on how to reduce levels of acrylamide in certain foods to help mitigate potential human health risks.
Acrylamide forms from a chemical reaction that occurs when food is cooked at high temperatures – fried, roasted or baked – and mainly occurs in potato and cereal products. It is also found in cigarette smoke and is produced industrially for use in plastics, grouts, water treatment products and cosmetics.
In the guidelines, FDA offers approaches growers, manufacturers and food-service operators can use to help reduce acrylamide levels. Suggestions include selecting certain varieties of potato or wheat, storing ingredients in certain ways, reducing frying temperatures, using alternative coloration or leavening, and adding certain ingredients in processing.
“Acrylamide in food is a concern because it can cause cancer in laboratory animals at high doses, and is ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,'” the draft guidance document states.
But, as Food Safety News has previously reported, not everyone agrees that the chemical is a safety threat.
Even a joint committee of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concluded that “epidemiological studies do not provide any consistent evidence that occupational exposure or dietary exposure to acrylamide is associated with cancer in humans.”© Food Safety News