Thursday, September 3, 2009

Acrylamide – Do you know what it is?

(pictured: a grilled sandwich from cooking class - grilled bread has acrylamide)

Apparently most Americans haven’t heard of acrylamide. Yet, in 2002 it was shown to be a carcinogen in laboratory animals. The FDA is waiting for additional research before putting out any definitive guidance regarding how much acrylamide is safe. However, Canada has placed acrylamide on its toxic substances list.

Acrylamide is a substance that occurs naturally when foods are fried, roasted or baked. When the natural sugars in food brown acrylamide is formed. Frying creates the most acrylamide, followed by roasting and then baking.

The foods that are of particular concern at this time are potatoes, grains and coffee. Foods to be concerned about are French fries, potato chips, cookies, toast and cereal. What this means to me is that I will be more aware when preparing food. While I love the flavor of roasted vegetables, I will be minimizing our consumption of those to reduce our overall exposure to acrylamide. Also, while pancakes are good, acrylamides ... not so much. Sorry sweetie, fewer pancakes for you.


Here is another interesting link to acrylamide in foods. The author provides an extensive chart of specific levels found in foods per tests by the FDA.

This is the link to the actual FDA chart. It appears to the be the same as the one above, but I always like to go to the source.


  1. I've read that puffed cereals are especially bad, because they have to be processed at high heat in order to be puffed. We don't eat boxed breakfast cereals...but I don't think I could get my husband not to eat toast. Fried potatoes are so good, it's a bummer that they're so bad for you. But, we don't eat these very often either because fried stuff is so fattening. Thanks for the info.

  2. I hadn't heard of this! I'll have to look more into it... I can't believe how much bad there is out there. It makes it hard to do anything. I bet raw foodists are thinking "I told you so". Lol!

  3. Rose,

    I hadn't heard about the puffed cereal, now I need to research it.


    Good point about the raw foodies.


  4. i just bought puffed cereal!!! darn it. but its not to surprising that cooking foods is killing its wholesomeness. i have been more conscious of not letting my foods over cook like i normally do. well any more info on this we would love to hear.

  5. Rose, Janelle and Michelle,

    I updated the post with a link to a site that lists specific foods and the level of acrylamide found during FDA tests.



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