Foodfacts.com works to bring our followers the latest in food news and research. We’ve gone over the recent discovery of arsenic in apple juice, sucralose in our drinking water, and hair in our peanut butter! One recent and popular topic we’ve been hearing a lot about is Acrylamide; a chemical which is formed from sugars and an amino acid during cooking at high temperatures! Read more to find out which foods contain this chemical!
What exactly is Acrylamide, and how is it formed?
The FDA defines acrylamide as:
Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide in food forms from sugars and the amino acid asparagine that are naturally present in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment.
Where else could we find Acrylamide?
This chemical compound is used in many industrial processes, which include the production of paper, dyes, plastics, grouts, and cosmetics. It is also used in the treatment of drinking water and waste-water, including sewage.
How long has Acrylamide been around?
This chemical has most likely been in our food supply for many, many years. However, scientists only discovered this chemical in our foods in April 2002 after a series of testing. Since then, they have been trying to determine the long-term effects, and possible solutions for this issue.
What types of high-temperature cooking cause Acrylamide formation?
Frying, roasting, broiling, and baking are methods likely to cause the formation of acrylamide. Boiling and steaming don’t typically cause the formation of acrylamide.
What foods are likely to have this chemical? Why?
Potato products (such as chips and french fries), grain products, and coffee. Acrylamide is less likely to form in dairy, meat, and fish products. These items all have larger amounts of the amino acid, asparagine, which causes the formation when combined with sugars.
What health implications are associated with acrylamide consumption?
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen,” based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamide in drinking water. However, toxicology studies have shown differences in acrylamide absorption rates between humans and rodents. (National Cancer Institute)
What is the FDA doing regarding acrylamide in food?
So far the FDA has developed an action plan regarding the issue of acrylamide in foods. They have setup meeting with the Food Advisory Committee, and subcommittees to gather input on the acrylamide program. Peer-reviewed research articles have been published to spread awareness on the issue, along with continually doing new research. Finally, consumer assessments are being prepared to evaluate exposure to this chemical. (FDA)
How to lookout for Acrylamide:
Since acrylamide is formed chemically during the cooking process, you will not find it alongside other ingredients on product labels. What we recommend is that you complete some research concerning which foods tested for the highest amounts of this chemical. As we have learned so far, potato products, grains, and coffee have the largest amounts of the amino acid asparagine. Also, we would like to note that acrylamide can be formed in both organic, and non-organic foods.
We’ll update you on more news regarding acrylamide as it comes through!