What is Acrylamide?
It is a chemical compound that is formed when food is heated to very high temperatures i.e. baking, roasting & frying. High doses of acrylamide was shown to trigger cancer in some laboratory animals.
The formation of acrylamide is the reaction of reducing sugars with free asparagine. Asparagine is a common amino acid found in foods. The reaction occurs during the browning process.
Swedish Research - April 2002
New research carried out in 2002 by a group of Swedish scientists detected trace levels of the compound in some baked & fried foods. Up until this point food had not been tested for acrylamide as it was not known to be a component of food.
"Although the formation of acrylamide in cooked foods is still being studied, a number of leading government food safety authorities around the world advise that consumers eat a healthy balanced diet, rather than eliminate certain foods."
Foods to Avoid
Acrylamide forms naturally when carbohydrate rich foods are heated to high temperatures. It is present in all foods, but examples of foods it has been found in are: coffee; chocolate; french fries; baked crackers; crisps/ chips; cereal; bread & even some fruits & vegetables.
Mainstream Industry 'Solutions'
In Europe a "toolbox" has been created by the European food processors trade association (CIAA), to highlight possible ways to reduce acrylamide is various products. "For example, selecting potatoes with naturally low levels of sugar for potato chips helps control the formation of acrylamide when they are cooked." AcrylamideFacts.com