REPORT: Acrylamide-containing foods


chemical formula C3H5NO

Acrylamide — a chemical suspected of causing cancer — forms in some foods when they’re fried, baked, toasted or roasted at high temperatures. Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid naturally found in plant-based foods when exposed to high heat. Although high levels of acrylamide cause cancer in laboratory animals, there is insufficient evidence about the risks to human health, if any, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So, here we go…..
Carbohydrate-rich products that have been subjected to heating and the “browning reaction” – when flavors colors and textures are formed -generally contain acrylamide.  Acrylamide is formed in thousands of different products.  Among the foods which develop acrylamide during cooking are coffee, chocolate, almonds, french fries, potato chips, cereal, crackers, bread, and even some fruits and vegetables.

Potato Chips and French Fries (even in “Prince Charles Organic Potato Chips)

Potato chips and French fries are the foods containing the highest amount of acrylamide. Potatoes that are boiled or microwaved contain no acrylamide. Avoid dark brown fried, roasted or baked potatoes — they contain the most acrylamide. Instead, enjoy them fried only to a golden yellow color. Don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator; it increases the amount of acrylamide formed during cooking. Slice and soak potatoes in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking to reduce acrylamide, according to the FDA. Also on the list are Hula Hoops, Ryvita, Pringles and Tesco Ginger Nut biscuits.

Despite its warning, the Agency said it has concluded the levels of acrylamide found during its survey ‘do not increase concern about the risk to human health’.

The highest readings for acrylamide were found in Tesco own-brand potato rings, ahead of the Duchy Originals vegetable crisps.

Among the fast-food chains, acrylamide levels were highest in the chips served by KFC, ahead of McDonald’s and Burger King.

Procter & Gamble, which makes Pringles, criticised the FSA for going public with its findings.

Toast, Cookies and Breakfast Cereals

Products made from grains — especially toast, cookies and breakfast cereals — are high in acrylamide. Acrylamide increases with longer cooking times and higher temperatures. Toast bread only until it’s light brown and avoid eating any dark brown areas. Consider limiting your intake of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals by replacing them with homemade oatmeal or other foods if you’re worried about acrylamide, according to


Coffee is high in acrylamide, but there’s no known way to reduce the chemical because the beans are roasted before you brew them. Choosing a light roast instead of a dark one can help.


The Players

The pet food market has been dominated in the last few years by the acquisition of big companies by even bigger companies. With $15 billion a year at stake in the U.S. and rapidly expanding foreign markets, it’s no wonder that some are greedy for a larger piece of the pie.

  • Nestlé’s bought Purina to form Nestlé Purina Petcare Company (Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, One, ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets).
  • Del Monte gobbled up Heinz (MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Nature’s Recipe, and pet treats Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce).
  • MasterFoods owns Mars, Inc., which consumed Royal Canin (Pedigree, Waltham’s, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel).

Other major pet food makers are not best known for pet care, although many of their household and personal care products do use ingredients derived from animal by-products:

  • Procter and Gamble (P&G) purchased The Iams Company (Iams, Eukanuba) in 1999. P&G shortly thereafter introduced Iams into grocery stores, where it did very well.
  • Colgate-Palmolive bought Hill’s Science Diet (founded in 1939) in 1976 (Hill’s Science Diet, Prescription Diets, Nature’s Best).

Private labelers (who make food for “house” brands like Kroger and Wal-Mart) and co-packers (who produce food for other pet food makers) are also major players. Three major companies are Doane Pet Care, Diamond, and Menu Foods; they produce food for dozens of private label and brand names. Interestingly, all 3 of these companies have been involved in pet food recalls that sickened or killed many pets.

  1. Are there other ways humans are exposed to acrylamide?Food and cigarette smoke are the major sources of acrylamide exposure. Exposure to acrylamide from other sources is likely to be significantly less than that from food or smoking, but scientists do not yet have a complete understanding of all sources of exposure. Acrylamide and polyacrylamide are used in some industrial and agricultural procedures, and regulations are in place to limit exposure in those settings.
  2. What are other health effects of acrylamide?High levels of acrylamide in the workplace have been shown to cause neurological damage, e.g., among workers using acrylamide polymers to clarify water in coal preparation plants.

  3. Are acrylamide levels regulated?The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates acrylamide in drinking water. The EPA established an acceptable level of acrylamide exposure, set low enough to account for any uncertainty in the data relating acrylamide to cancer and neurotoxic effects. The U.S. FDA regulates the amount of residual acrylamide in a variety of materials that come in contact with food, but there are currently no guidelines governing the presence of acrylamide in food itself.

WHAT EPA PROGRAM OFFICES REGULATE ACRYLAMIDE, AND UNDER WHAT LAWS IS IT REGULATED? __________________________________________________________________________ EPA OFFICE LAW PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________________________________ Pollution Prevention Toxic Substances Control Act (202) 554-1404 & Toxics Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Regulations (Sec. 313) (800) 424-9346 Toxics Release Inventory data (202) 260-1531 Air Clean Air Act (919) 541-0888 Solid Waste & Comprehensive Environmental Emergency Response Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund)/ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act / EPCRA (Sec. 302/304/311/312) (800) 424-9346 Water Safe Drinking Water Act (800) 426-4791 A technical support document can be requested from the TSCA Assistance Information Service, (202) 554-1404. WHAT OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES OR GROUPS CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ON ACRYLAMIDE? __________________________________________________________________________ AGENCY/GROUP PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________________________________ American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (513) 742-2020 Consumer Product Safety Commission (301) 504-0994 Food and Drug Administration (301) 443-3170 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (800) 356-4674 Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Companies that produce acrylamide:
Anhui Jucheng Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd. manufactures polyacrylamide. It offers acrylamide that is used in used in petroleum, coal washing, papermaking, textile, sewage treatment, metallurgy, sugar making, construction, coating, drug, and daily chemicals.

Dongying Kechuang Biochemical Industrial Co., Ltd.

Acrylamide has also been advertised as a soil conditioner called Krilium by Monsanto Company(No surprise there) in the 1950s and today “MP”, which is stated to be a “unique formulation of PAM (water-soluble polyacrylamide)”.

Chemical Use Type

Describes the most common use(s) for a pesticide active ingredient. If there is more than one use for the chemical, the most common use is listed first.

Use Type Description
Used in pesticide products to increase the effectiveness of the active ingredients, make the product easier to apply, or to allow several active ingredients to mix in one solution. Solvents, emulsifiers, and spreaders fall in this category.
Kills algae.
Used in paints and other coatings to inhibit growth of algae, barnacles and other shellfish on the hulls of ships.
Kills birds.
Substance used to attract pests, including sugar, honey, meat, oatmeal, etc.
Bear repellent
Repels bears. , usually by producing an offensive odor.
Bird Repellent
Repels birds.
Breakdown product
The chemical transformation product resulting from metabolism of a pesticide in a biological system or from reaction of a pesticide with oxygen, water, light or other substances in the environment. In the PAN database, known breakdown products are listed as related chemicals for the parent pesticide (see Related Chemicals section at the bottom of the Chemical Infomation page); however, it is important to note that not all pesticide transformation products have been identified. Breakdown products can sometimes be more toxic than the starting pesticide.
Kills leaves on broadleaf plants. Commonly used in cotton production to remove leaves before harvest.
Used to remove moisture, such as sulfur dioxide used in producing dried fruits.
Dog and Cat Repellent
Repels dogs and cats, usually by producing an offensive odor.
Coloring agent.
Chemical used to add a particular odor to a pesticide product. Sometimes these fragrances are attractants for insects; other times, they are added to hide an unpleasant chemical odor.
Exist as gases or produce a gas when they break down in the environment. Fumigants typically kill all living things. Used in agriculture to sterilize soil before planting and to kill pests in stored food or before shipment to other countries. In urban settings, fumigants are used to treat dwellings for termites, ants, and roaches. The target pests for many soil fumigations are nematodes. Most of these pesticides are highly acutely toxic.
Kills molds, mildews, and other fungi.
Kills unwanted plants.
Herbicide safener
Compounds applied prior to the application of an herbicide to increase the tolerance of a specific crop (corn, rice, etc.) to a specific herbicide. Typically used on germinating seeds.
Compounds produced during chemical synthesis that contaminate an active ingredient. Sometimes impurities are more toxic than the active ingredient itself, for example dioxin contaminants in 2,4-D.
Insect growth regulator
Interferes with normal growth and development of insects, blocking maturation or causing production of sterile offspring.
Insect Repellent
Repels insects such as mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies.
Kills insects. As used in the PAN Pesticide Database, the term “insecticide” encompasses miticides, acaracides, and nematicides as well.
Kills microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi and used in disinfectant or antibacterial products.
Kills snails, slugs, and shellfish.
Kills nematodes, microscopic soil organisms that can deform roots, limit water uptake, and even kill plants.
pH adjustment
An acidic or basic substance used to alter the acidity (pH) of a solution or product.
Insect sex-attractant hormones used to disrupt mating. These compounds are used in very small quantities and are very selective for a particular insect species.
Kills fish.
Plant growth regulator
Blocks or accelerates plant growth.
Gaseous compounds used in spray formulations of pesticides to create an aerosol mist of the pesticide.
Pruning Aid
Used to cover freshly cut surfaces on trees and vines after pruning. Normally a wax or tar-like substance.
Kills rodents such as rats, mice and gophers.
Compounds that have surfactant or detergent properties.
A liquid compound used to dissolve other substances.
A chemical compound that reacts with a pesticide active ingredient to accentuate its pesticidal activity. Often used with pyrethroids.
Water treatment
Chemicals used for treating water to make it potable.
Wood preservative
Used to prevent wood decay from microbial attack. Most wood preservatives are highly toxic.



3 responses to this post.

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