FSA campaign to raise awareness of acrylamide
For many years there has been concern about acrylamide levels in food as it may be cancer causing in humans. This chemical is formed when starchy foods are heated to high temperatures when fried, baked, grilled or roasted. As the food browns and starts to burn the levels of acrylamide rise.
The FSA are launching a campaign to help people and food businesses understand more about acrylamide and how it can be reduced in foods. It is hoped that this combined effort could help reduce intake levels across the population.
How do I reduce the amount of Acrylamide in food? (FSA: Jan 2017)
“GO FOR GOLD” as a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread.
“CHECK THE PACK” check for cooking instructions on the pack and follow carefully when frying or oven-cooking packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes and parsnips. The on-pack instructions are designed to cook the product correctly. This ensures that you aren’t cooking starchy foods for too long or at temperatures which are too high.
“EAT A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET” while we can’t completely avoid risks like acrylamide in food, eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes basing meals on starchy carbohydrates and getting your 5 A Day will help reduce your risk of cancer.
“DON’T KEEP RAW POTATOES IN THE FRIDGE – don’t store raw potatoes in the fridge if you intend to cook them at high temperatures (e.g. roasting or frying). Storing raw potatoes in the fridge may lead to the formation of more free sugars in the potatoes (a process sometimes referred to as “cold sweetening”) and can increase overall acrylamide levels especially if the potatoes are then fried, roasted or baked. Raw potatoes should ideally be stored in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6°C.