Due to a recent publication, a subject virtually forgotten has once again become topical: acrylamide in food.

The EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) has now summarised the test results obtained by the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) in a scientific opinion. The rather unsurprising conclusion is that heating foods under certain conditions can lead to the formation of acrylamide.

Acrylamide thought to increase the risk of cancer

This compound has long been suspected to increase the risk of cancer in consumers. According to the study, the risks of contamination are highest from regularly eating soluble coffee substitutes, coffee, potato crisps and fried snacks. The development of acrylamide can be influenced by the variety and process variation. Biscuits, crispbreads and crackers also contribute to the increased absorption of acrylamide. The toxicological studies confirm a genotoxic effect. It is attributed to the metabolic product, glycinamide, which is formed from acrylamide in the kidneys, as confirmed by animal studies.

Consumer education to prevent improper food preparation

The EFSA thus advises that efforts continue to be aimed at reducing acrylamide concentrations. To this end it is also necessary to educate consumers. Inappropriate food preparation both at home and in takeaway establishments, such as the overheating of frying oil, frying, roasting and baking at too high a temperature, can account for up to 80% of total exposure.

How you benefit: LUFA-ITL is your specialist for sophisticated analytical services

The food industry has worked extensively and successfully on minimisation concepts. Testing for acrylamide in potentially critical products has now become an integral part of the HACCP routine of every responsible manufacturer. The AGROLAB Group, with its LUFA-ITL site in Kiel, has made a significant contribution by being one of the first laboratories to offer its customers sophisticated methods of detection in process-related and end-product analysis.


If you would like further information or a quote, feel free to contact our sales team without obligation. You will find your local contact on the right under “Contact in your country”.


For further information on acrylamide in food, click here and for food analysis here.



Source:  EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM; EFSA Journal 2015;13(6):4104)