The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued draft guidance for industry on how to reduce levels of acrylamide in certain foods to help mitigate potential human health risks.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it can cause cancer in laboratory animals at high doses, and is ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,'” the draft guidance document states.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.”

  • hu_sna

    Acrylamide is a neurtoxin and a potential cancer contributor, and any food scientist in the industry will confirm that. Where potatoes or potato based products are considered, food service operators/retailers should neither store them at lower temperatures (refrigerate potatoes) or reuse the overheated oil for hours/add oil to replenish the existing batch.

    I walk into the supermarket and see potatoes always stored in the refrigerated section, its a fact that none of the employees have a clue about the science behind food 🙂


    • Natasha

      The link doesn’t work for me.

  • farmber

    Brave FDA, our food safety watchdog, is looking into Acrylamide after all these years in our food supply. And last week they announced they are (finally) taking definitive action against transfats — again after many years in our food supply. Researchers say they are “no safe levels”.

    Kudos? Better late than never?

    Actually, with transfats it turns out Monsanto and Biotech companies — coincidentally, of course — have an APPROVED genetically modified soybean for oil in the commercial pipeline that doesn’t spoil and has minimal transfats…

    Sure, independent scientists say the new soybean crops should have undergone more extensive safety testing because the genetic engineering changed the levels of many components, not just the targeted fatty acids…. But hey, there’s a golden (if oily) business opportunity here — even though olive oil already HAS all the positive attributes without GMOs

    So now Mickie D’s main potato supplier has announced it is now in the final stages of developing a genetically-engineered potato. What do you want to bet it has lower Acrylamide as its marketable attribute…???

    Brave, brave FDA… working closely with industry to protect us all…

  • s.k.roy O.T.A.I , India

    One of the Japanese university scientist has suggested to frying potatoes under controlled temperature and pressure with Rice bran oil may counter the adverse effects and incorporate
    micronutrients like tocopherol, tocotrienol,oryzanol etc in the fried potato chips