acrylamide

In their latest move to protect consumers from deadly chemicals that aren't deadly, the member states of the European Union have voted to set legal limits on the amount of acrylamide in foods. Acrylamide, of course, is the chemical naturally formed when foods containing large amounts of carbohydrates that also contain protein are cooked at high temperatures — think fried and baked potatoes and bread, and many many other foods (even coffee).

A couple of years ago the European Food Safety Authority said that acrylamide is a carcinogenic risk for all age groups. The folks behind a lot of this attention is a "sustainability pressure group" called Changing Markets. Like similar American groups, they made...

Here we go again. Considering that there are literally thousands of chemicals out there to pick on, one wonders why we keep seeing scaremongers return again and again to the old ones. Case in point: acrylamide. Back in 2002, some Swedish scientists discovered that acrylamide is present in many foods, and the scare began.

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The main industrial use for acrylamide is as a precursor to polyacrylamide, a chemical used to clarify water, e.g. waste water. It has been known for a while that workers exposed to acrylamide in industrial settings (not eating the stuff, just working with it) have demonstrated some...

It is nothing short of amazing that we are still alive, or at the very least, don't all have cancer.

Because if even a fraction of the phony chemical scares that we write about almost every day were real, there'd be no one left alive to read what our dead writers didn't write. Whatever the hell that means.

An oldie, but goody refuses to go away. It is called acrylamide, which is formed during baking or frying of bread, chips, cookies, cereal, and — most notoriously — French fries

The chemical also occurs naturally (no—this does *not* matter) in a variety of vegetables,...

burnt toast_111441884Fresh off the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) group instilling a healthy skepticism of both meta-analyses and flawed statistics by claiming that bacon is just as dangerous as cigarettes, the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency (FSA) says toast could also be killing you - because it has acrylamide, which IARC also calls a...

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 2.48.00 PMLovers of french fries, rejoice: the new, non-bruising potato has hit the market. Idaho food giant Simplot, based in Boise, now carries a line of genetically modified potatoes Russet Burbank, Atlantic, and Ranger Russet that are specifically bred to produce less bruising, thus helping Americans waste less. Hopefully.

The spuds have joined a growing list of GM crops, designed to appeal to consumers, that have added health and appearance benefits; other foods in this...

1441131_78497659The USDA approved for commercial sale the Innate potato, produced by the JR Simplot company last November. The product is still waiting for FDA approval, who is in the process of reviewing the data. Innate potatoes produce less acrylamide than usual when cooked at high temperatures, and are also less prone to bruising. Moreover, their new technology doesn t involve inserting any foreign genes into the potatoes the reduced acrylamide production is due to the insertion of only different potato genes.

Now,...

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 2.51.51 PMWhat appears to be a big decision by McDonald s to keep using their current potatoes rather than switch to GM potatoes turns out to be, at least scientifically, no decision at all. This is because on this particular issue, it makes no difference what they decided. They were choosing between the lesser of two non-evils.

While this decision might, on the surface, seem to be a safety issue...

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 1.07.00 PMActivists are attacking Starbucks because its coffee like everyone else s coffee contains acrylamide. This is not because the company actually adds the chemical to its coffee, nor does anyone else it is formed naturally when the beans are roasted. It is also formed naturally in carbohydrate-rich foods such as breads, other baked goods, and French fries, when they are cooked at high temperatures. The group suing Starbuck s is...

1136161_59851659Hasn t the European Union s European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ever heard the (very) old adage that the dose makes the poison? From what they say in their latest report on acrylamide, it does not appear so. Basing their decision to post a warning solely on animal studies, they warn that dietary acrylamide is a carcinogenic hazard to humans.

And toeing the line with its European counterparts, the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)...

1327741_17847026You might want to tell the waiter to hold those french fries to cut down on the amount of acrylamide you re consuming. Well at least according to the FDA. Acrylamide is a chemical that forms in foods containing carbohydrates as a result of cooking at high temperatures. In fact, it is found in about 40 percent of the calories consumed by Americans and has been around for as long as people have been baking, roasting, toasting or frying foods, says the Grocery Manufacturer s Association. Yet, it was only...