Experts in the UK reveal how roast potatoes, toast and hot chips might lead to cancer
Acrylamide In Food
A UK government body has warn against the roasting and frying starchy foods because could increase the risk of cancer.
The Food Standards Agency in the UK on Monday launched a campaign to warn about the risks of cancer which is linked to eating over-roasted potatoes, burnt toast and other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures level (above 120C)..
What is acrylamide?
Acrylamide In Food Can Cause Cancer
The new campaign is educating people how they can cut their risk, by opting for a gold colour — rather than darker brown — when roasting, frying, baking, grilling or toasting.
Acrylamide is found in a much high levels in a range of foods including chips, breakfast cereals (not porridge), potato products (such as children’s potato shapes or waffles ), crackers, biscuits, crisps and crispbread.
This acrylamide is also found in cooked pizza bases,coffee, cereal-based baby foods and black olives.
Root vegetables including sweet potatoes, potatoes, beetroot, swede,turnip and parsnips can carry high levels of the compound as soon as they have been fried or roasted until darker brown or crispy.
Also long cooking times and high temperatures can increase levels of acrylamide.
Foods such as crisps and skinny fries appear to have the highest levels. Please not that acrylamide is form due to a chemical reaction between amino acid (asparagine) and certain sugars in the food.
But boiling, microwaving and steaming appear far less likely to cause the reaction.
Recent studies in mice have shown that high levels of acrylamide in the body can cause cancer and neurological damage.
Experts believe the compound has the ability to cause cancer in humans, even though research in humans have proved inconclusive.
The US Environmental Protection Agency said that acrylamide is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” and also the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation, said that it is a “probable human carcinogen”.
The Food Standards Agency, in its new campaign said people can take simple steps to reduce acrylamide consumption in in their food.
As a “rule of thumb”, they advise people to aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when roasting, frying, baking or toasting starchy foods.
People should also stick to a varied, balanced diet to reduce their overall risk of cancer.