Acrylamide: What it is and How to Avoid it

A possible link to cancer
January 8, 2013
By Michael Stewart

According to the World Health Organization and the Australia Food and Agriculture Organization, the chemical called Acrylamide can cause cancer.

The results that this is based on was in lab animals, and it is yet unclear the chances it creates for cancer in humans. However, it is important to note and it is a chemical that you will want to learn more about and avoid.

What is Acrylamide?

Many people have never even heard of this chemical and that could leave them wondering about this new danger. Acrylamide can be found in a number of different foods, especially starchy foods, including the following:

  • Fried potatoes
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Toasted Bread
  • Cereals
  • Sweet Biscuits
  • Coffee
  • Potato Chips

It is believed that consuming these products in high amounts could increase your risks of developing certain types of cancer.

How to Avoid Acrylamide

Thanks to a higher awareness of this concern, more and more farmers and food manufacturers are working to make their products with lower amounts of this chemical. However, there are also things you can do at home in order to lower your Acrylamide intake. These things include:

  • Fry potatoes only at 175 degrees Celsius
  • Bake potatoes at 230 degrees Celsius
  • Soak vegetables in cold water before frying them
  • Only lightly toast bread
  • Content in the coffee cannot really be reduced, so if you are concerned about Acrylamide, consider cutting out coffee completely

Acrylamide can form when foods are fried or toasted to darker levels. By frying, baking, and toasting only lightly, you can lower the amount of the chemical found in the foods that you eat.

Acrylamide is something that many of us had never heard of, but this does not change its danger. As more people work to lessen the problem, you can take action in your home too. Just make sure you only lightly cook starchy foods. This will help you avoid the problem in your own home.