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Go ahead, bend your elbows for that morning fix: Coffee’s OK

Java enthusiasts can brew in peace as new research shows that the presence of acrylamide, a known carcinogenic chemical, in nine of the top selling coffee brands is undetectable.

The Clean Label Project – a national nonprofit focused on health and transparency in labeling – completed analysis of the research this month, finding that many other foods contain significantly higher levels of acrylamide than does coffee.

The 2018 study by the Denver-based Clean Label Project used the independent analytical chemistry laboratory Ellipse Analytics for the tests on nine popular brands of coffee. Clean Label selected and purchased the top selling coffee from retail store shelves. After brewing each of the coffees, tests showed undetectable levels of acrylamide, suggesting that proposed cancer warnings on coffee are unwarranted.

“Consumers should be concerned with many popular food products with elevated levels of acrylamide – but coffee is not one of them,” said Jackie Bowen, executive director of the Clean Label Project.

“(Foods) for concern include french fries, potato chips, crackers, cookies, cereal and even snacks specifically for toddlers and young children.”

In a tested cup of coffee, the average amount of acrylamide was 1.77 micrograms per serving. However, when Ellipse Analytics tested french fries from top selling American fast food restaurants, the average acrylamide level found was 75.65 micrograms per serving.

This means that a person would have to drink 43 cups of coffee to exceed the amount of acrylamide found in one large order of french fries from America’s leading fast food restaurants.

The director of operations and quality at the testing laboratory Ellipse Analytics said acrylamide, a known neurotoxin, is likely created during the roasting process.

“While brewed coffee has very low levels of acrylamide, the industry should work toward reducing acrylamide in coffee through other roasting means,” said Sean Callan, the Ellipse Analytics scientist. ”

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