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Acrylamide

A Reference Resource List

Compiled by Emerson Library Staff

2003-2012

 

 

 

2010 Journal Citations:

 

Arvanitoyannis, Ioannis S., and Stratakos, Alaxandros. (2010). Reduction of acrylamide with irradiation.  In Irradiation of food commodities: techniques, applications, detection, legislation, safety and consumer opinion. pp.  650-654.

 

“Canadian firm develops yeast solution for acrylamide in processed foods.” (May 2010) Bakers Journal. (70) 4:8.

Canadian company Functional Technologies Corp. has filed a patent for a yeast technology that reduces the formation of acrylamide in foods. Acrylamide is categorized as a Group 2A carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and is found in foods such as bread, cookies, crackers, baby food, breakfast cereal, French fries, and potato chips.

 

Pedreschi, Franco. (2010). "Acrylamide formation and reduction in fried potatoes." Processing Effects on Safety and Quality of Food, pp. 231-252.

Several studies have focused on the acrylamide levels in fried potato products. Some research has indicated that the levels are related to the Maillard reaction of the product and could also have to do with the "reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars." Other factors that may affect the acrylamide level are believed to be the potato variety and field size, processing conditions of the potato including "pretreatments, temperatures, and times of frying, type of frying and postfrying conditions" (p. 233). Research indicates that acrylamide is formed "mainly due to the reaction of asparagine and reducing sugars" (p. 233). While this reaction is believed to cause the formation of acrylamide, there is also a correlation to the cooking process used and the temperature of that process or specifically the "thermal input" used in the processing of the product that increases the acrylamide levels found in the products. Two diagrams on p. 235 detail the possible ways that acrylamide is formed. One theory is that acrylamide is produced from the oils present in food while the second theory is that formation of acrylamide occurs from the "the nitrogen-containing compounds already present in the food."

 

“Updates on 2010 regulations.” (February 2010) Prepared Foods. (179) 2:13-13.

Discusses issues under consideration by U..S. regulatory agencies. Includes the following topics: Reportable Food Registry, acrylamide levels in foods, salmonella and E. coli and product specific guidance, FDA authority and enforcement power, proposed rulemaking on definition of term 'natural," environmental marketing claims, organic claims, and the FCT's Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials.

 

2009 Journal Citations:

 

“Cutting acrylamide.” (June 2009) Food Product Design. (19) 6: 101.

Profile of Jungbunzlauer Inc's CIMROMA, which is "a mineral salt that reduces acrylamide content in heat-treated foods by up to 80% without influencing their sensorial properties."

 

Koehler, Peter, Granvogl, Michael, Wieser, Herbert, and Schieberle, Peter. (2009).  Aspargine concentration and acrylamide formation potentinoal in wheat flour as affected by sulfur fertilization. Consumer Driven Cereal Innovation: Where Science Meets Innovation : Proceedings of the 1st Cereals & Erurope Spring Meeting, Montpellier, France, pp. 133-136.

Samples of wheat, spelt and oat flours were analyzed to determine the levels of sulfur, nitrogen and free asparagine. Asparagine is a a "precursor of acrylamide." The study determined that that cereals should be fertilized with sulfur during growth to reduce high levels of acrylamide during the heat processing of cereal products.

 

Let the chips fall.” (August 2009) University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter. (25) 11-2-3.

In 2002, a Swedish study detected acrylamide in potato chips and French fries, cereals, crackers and bread. However, the health effects of acrylamide in food are unclear. Discusses the research that has been conducted on acrylamide, including the difficulty of tracking the exact levels and sources of acrylamide consumption. "The levels of acrylamide in foods depend on how they are processed, stored, and cooked, and varies not only from brand to brand but even from batch to batch." However, the article recommends limiting exposure to acrylamide. Certain cooking methods such as boiling, steaming and microwaving produce less acrylamide in foods.

 

Mestdagh, Frederic & Meulenaer, Bruno. “A farm to fork approach to lower acrylamide in food.” (March 2009) New Food. (63) 3:47-50.

Acrylamide is a human carcinogen formed in frying, roasting and baking foods, which is considered a substantial health risk due to its abundance in many types of popular foods. Foods affected include fried potatoes, roasted cereals, breads, biscuits, chocolate and coffee. This articles reviews research that suggests ways to reduce acrylamide formation, specifically in the "mitigation of acrylamide in potato products." The following factors influence acrylamide formation in potatoes: sugar content, cultivars, levels of fertilization, climatological conditions, storage temperatures, tuber size, additives, Maillard reaction, and frying temperatures. "It can be stated that a farm to fork approach is needed in order to control acrylamide formation in heated foodstuff and in fried potatoes in particular."

 

2008 Journal Citations:

 

Esquivel, T. (2008) Understanding acrylamide. Food Product Design. 18(11), 16.

Overview of current research on acrylamide in fried and oven-baked foods. "More than one-third of the calories consumed by U.S. and European populations contain acrylamide, a substance classified as a 'probable human carcinogen' based on laboratory data." Includes brief overviews of the following studies (all published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry): "Acrylamide Intake Through Diet and Human Cancer Risk." (2008; 56(15): 6,013-6019); "Inhibition of Acrylamide Toxicity in Mice by Three Dietary Constituents" (2008; 56 (15):6,054-6,060); “Effectiveness of Methods for Reducing Acrylamide in Bakery Products” (2008; 56(15):6,154-6,161); and “Reduction of Acrylamide Level in French Fries by Employing a Termerature Program During Frying” (2008; 56(15):6,162-6,166).

 

2007 Journal Citations:

 

Thornton, Mark. “Swedes Issue New Warning on Acrylamide.” (April 30 2007) Food Chemical News 49 (11):22. (Available online with paid subscription at: http://www.foodchemcialnews.com)

According to findings of the Heatox Project from the Swedish National Food Administration humans may be more susceptible to low levels of acrylamide.  Notes that progress has been made on reducing levels of acrylamide in French fires, potato chips and bread however removing acrylamide from roasted coffee has proven more difficult. 

 

2006 Journal Citations:

 

“California Steps Back on Acrylamide Rules.” (April 2006) Baking & Snack. (28) 3:12

The California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazrd Assessment has withdrawn proposed rules that would required warning labels on products that are known to contain acrylamide a known carcinogen.


"Answers to Acrylamide." (April 21, 2009) Milling & Baking News. (88) 4: 35-36, 38, 40.

Two new ingredients are being promoted that "are designed to keep acrylamide from developing in food products." The way the ingredients work is by converting "asparagine, a precursor of acrylamide, into aspartate, another naturally occurring amino acid. The two products are Acrylaway from Novozymes and PreventASe from DSM, both ingredients are enzyme-based. The safety and use of the ingredients are still being considered by the Food and Drug Administration.. Perspectives on acrylamide are provided by Gary Johnson, global marketing manager, Novozymes North America Inc., Ruth Donners, business development manager for Prevent ASe, DSM Food Specialties and Lee Sanders, vice-president of government relations and public affairs at the American Bakers Association. Includes a table listing acrylamide levels in grain-based foods.  According to the numbers provided in the table chocolate chip cookies, corn/tortilla chips, butter-type crackers and hard, salted, pretzels have the highest acrylamide levels.

 

2005 Journal Citations:

 

“Acrylamide Report Recommends Improved Food Prep Technology.”  (April/May 2005) Food Safety Magazine (11)2:8, 10.

Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives' report on acrylamide called for "improving food preparation technologies that lower acrylamide content in foods."  The report also suggested the use of enzyme asparaginase to remove asparagine  as a way to reduce acrylamide in the finished food product.  To view the whole report go to http://who.int/ipcs/food/jecfa/summaries/en.

 

Kim, Cheong Tae; Hwang, Eun-Sun and Lee, Hyong Joo.  “Reducing Acrylamide in Fried Snack Products by Adding Amino Acids.”  (June/July 2005)   Journal of Food Science, (70) 5:C54-C58.

Acrylamide content of fried foods is dependent on the raw material, frying time and frying temperature.  With the addition the amino acids lysine, glycine or cysteine to potato snacks and wheat flour snacks reduced the amount of acrylamide substantially.

 

“Snack Food Association Undergoes Reorganization.”  (September 2005), Milling & Baking News (84) 29: 42.

The Snack Food Association has announced a reorganization plan due to positions that were eliminated.    The president of the SFA, Bob Shearer noted that recent issues in the industry contributed to the changes.  Top issues cited were obesity, transfat and acrylamide. 

 

“California Sues Food Processors over Acrylamide.”  (September 2005) Food Processing (66) 9:17.

Brief news item stating Californian Attorney General sues H.J. Heinz, Procter & Gamble, Frito-Lay Inc, Lance Inc, Kettle Foods Inc., McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC for not warning consumers about acrylamide content.  The Attorney General is able to do this under California's Proposition 65.

 

Michaelides, John.  “Acrylamide Under the Microscope.”  (October 2005)   Bakers Journal.  (65) 8:14-15

Explains what acrylamide is, the author's options on how it affects baked goods and what should be done.

 

Yaylayan, V.A., and Stadler, R.H.   "Acrylamide Formation in Food: A Mecahnistic Perpective. (2005). Journal of AOAC International (88) 1:262-267.

It has been determined that sugars must be present to produce acrylamide from asparagine. This paper focuses on laboratory experiments that were conducted to understand the formation of acrylamide. It has been determined that the type of sugar used will effect acrylamide formation. Fructose or keto sugars seem to generate acrylamide formation at low-temperature and low-moisture conditions. The pH of the product also has shown to have an affect on the formation of acrylamide. Even though progress has been made in understanding the formation of acrylmide more research is still needed.

2004 Journal Citations:

 

Ernst, Detlef.  “Reliable Sample Preparation in Food Technology.”  (2004) Food Quality (11) 1:69-72.

The author discusses how the food industry is searching for laboratory techniques that have minimal process interruptions.  The authors discusses acrylamide and how tests found that it is high in people who are not even exposed to it but may have been exposed through food.  The author discusses reliable sample preparation and includes a sample of a flow chart for one.

 

“EU Funds Acrylamide Research.”  (2004) Food Product Design (13) 10:26.

The European Union and joint project partners have committed millions of euros to fund research into a program called HEATOX, a three-year project.  Heat-induced food toxicants: identification, characterization, and risk minimization is the title of the project.  The Stockholm University research team who were the first who identified acrylamide in food will head the research.

 

“FDA Releases Acrylamide Data.”  (2004) Food Safety Magazine (10) 2:12.

The FDA released new information on acrylamide levels in 750 new food samples.  The FDA is   expanding their testing program for acrylamide and will be testing 40 new infant formula samples.  More information can be found at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/pestadd.html#acryalmide.

 

“Final FDA Acrylamide Action Plan, Data.”  (2004) FDA Consumer (38) 3:27.

The FDA released 750 new food samples and their acrylamide levels.  Also, the FDA released their final version of their action plan that shows how they will evaluate the risk of acrylamide and ways to reduce acrylamide levels in food.  Updated information on acrylamide can be found at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/acrydat2.html.  FDA’s action plan for acrylamide can be found at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/pestadd.html#acrylamide.  

Internet Resources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.  “Acrylamide in Foods.”  Pesticides, Metals Chemical Contaminants & Natural Toxins.     http://www.cfsan.fda/~lrd/pestadd.html#acrylamide.

 

2003 Journal Citations:


Abboud, Leila.  “Food Industry, California Spar Over Labeling.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (242) 28:B1, B2.

Today,  California is expected to propose that warning labels be required on foods that contain significant levels of acrylamide.  Acrylamide is a chemical known to cause cancer in animals.  This chemical was recently found in snack chips, French fries, cereals, and other fried or baked starchy foods.  California is acting under a 1986 law, Proposition 65, which requires it to publicly list chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, and other health problems.  If accepted, California would be the only state to require the label.  Companies are having a problem with this because they say it would be difficult to label food products going to California and not label food products going elsewhere.  The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have acknowledged what acrylamide does but does not tell consumers to change their eating habits before they do more research on acrylamide and its effects on humans.   The organizations also urge California to hold off on labeling until the two-year research can be completed.


Adams, Judi.   “Regaining the Healthful Image of Grain-Based Foods.”  (2003) Cereal Foods World (48) 9:124-127.

In the media, it is easy to find articles, reports, and information on how carbohydrates are to blame for American's obesity crisis.  The U.S. food pyramid guide is now being challenged for its recommendation of 6 to 11 servings a day for Americans.  High protein diets are one reason to blame because they claim that carbohydrates are bad.  Little information is available to the public that says differently.  Some objection to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid comes from information of the Glycemic Index.  The article includes acrylamide and trans fats, two more issues that are in the spotlight along with carbohydrates.  The grain-based food industry is responding to attacks that carbohydrates are bad for people.  They have yet to give a resound response to the public.  What is needed is a third-party nutritionist to challenge the misinformation about carbohydrates.

 

Bachtold, Daniel.  “Deep-Fried Cancer Risk Downplayed.”  (2003) Science Now p. 5

Swedish scientists found high concentrations of acrylamide in bread, chips, and French fries last year.  But with a new study, they have not found any connection between the dietary intake of acrylamide and cancer in humans.  The study is not definitive in part because it lacks comprehensive data on acrylamide in various foods.   The study conducted could also have been too small.

 

Bren, Linda.   “Turning Up The Heat On Acrylamide.”  (2003) FDA Consumer (37) 1:10-11.

Acrylamide is a white and odorless chemical that is found naturally as a by-product in cooked foods.  Scientists have found that acrylamide does cause cancer in laboratory rats.  They also know that if a person comes into contact with a huge amount of acrylamide that it can cause nerve damage.  No one knows if the amounts of acrylamide in foods will cause harm or cancer to humans.   The FDA is still stressing the importance of having a traditional well-balanced diet.  They also advise consumers to not cook food excessively to reduce the amount.  They do reinforce that is more important to fully cook the food to reduce pathogens.  There is cooperative research at this time into studying the effects of acrylamide in humans.

 

“Coffee and Acrylamide.”   (2003) Food Processing (63) 12:14.

Coffee was found to have significant levels of acrylamide, a carcinogen.  Swedish researchers from the state Food Control Authorities in Uppsala found these results.  If a person were to drink a liter of coffee a day, they would raise their acrylamide intake by 100%.  A liter of coffee has 20 micrograms of acrylamide.  This research confirmed earlier results in Switzerland and Germany.

 

Dvoark, Blake D.  “Chemo With Your Cheerios.”  (2003) Consumers’ Research Magazine (86) 9:38

The author discusses what we currently know about acrylamide.  So far, research has not found acrylamide in uncooked foods, only in foods that are baked, fried, or roasted.  Scientists know that large amounts of acrylamide can cause cancer in lab rats.  The amount of acrylamide in foods is still really low compared to the dosages that were used in lab rats.  The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) issued its own brief to the FDA estimating that there are 8,900 acrylamide-related cancer cases.  More information on the briefing can be found at cspinet.org/new/pdf/acrylamide.petition.pdf.  More information on acrylamide can be found on the FDA’s web site at www.fda.gov. 

 

High Exposure To Acrylamide Is Higher Still in Smoking Than Non-Smoking Germans.”  (2003)
Cancer Weekly 4/30/2003:29-30

Published research in Germany showed that smokers had a higher level of acrylamide.  Nonsmokers still had levels of acrylamide but not as high as smokers.   For the nonsmokers, the level of acrylamide is probably due to dietary uptake.  The publisher of the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health published the research.  The study can be requested from: Urban & Fischer Verlag, Branch Office Jena, PO Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.

 

“In Vitro Study Suggests Acrylamide Causes DNA Damage.”  (2003) Cancer Weekly 7/8/2003:50-51.

A study was reported in the June 18, 2003 issues of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that suggests in studies done, acrylamide influences its mutagenicity on DNA by forming adducts and starting genetic mutations.  DNA adducts have the ability to cause problems with the DNA replication process, which in theory can lead to tumor formation.

 

Joy, David.   “Three Big Rules To Take Effect This Year.”  (2003) Food Processing (64) 4:28, 30.

The Federal Drug Administration will be putting into effect this year three new rules that will affect food.  They include the trans fat labeling rule, food processing facility registration rule, and a rule that requires prior notification of food imported into the U.S.  None of these rules originated from the FDA. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 mandated the import notification rule and facility registration rule.  The trans fat rule started in part by a petition filed with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  Not only are food manufacturers having to worry about these new rules, they are also faced with growing interest in allergens and acrylamide.  Acrylamide is believed to be a carcinogenic that appears naturally in certain starchy foods that are cooked at high temperatures.  Acrylamide and allergens will be getting more research to ensure that our food is safe.

 

Langen, Sara.  “EU Launches Online Acrylamide Database.”  (2003) Food Technology (57) 4:10.

The European Union is trying to clarify potential public health risks and also identify how to educe levels of acrylamides in food.  This database will be an online resource.  Acrylamide is a chemical that is found in food, but public health risks are unclear.  The website for the database is http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/fcr/acrylamide/acryl_database_en.html.

 

“Possible Cancer Causer Appears in Nutritious Food As Well As In Fast Food.”  (2003) Medical Letter on the CDC & FDA 3/23/2003:11-12.

U.S. government scientists say that acrylamide occurs both in fast foods and in nutritious foods.  Acrylamide could be a possible cancer causing substance that occurs naturally in high-carbohydrate foods that are cooked at high temperatures.  The Food and Drug Administration reports that foods that have lower levels of acrylamide are eaten more often that increases overall exposure.  Foods such as milk, frozen vegetables, and meat contain no acrylamide.  The following foods contain acrylamide: toast and soft bread at 2.2, breakfast cereal at 7.3 mcg, cookies at 6.6 mcg, and coffee at 2 mcg.  Some popular foods, like pizza, have yet to measured for acrylamide levels.

 

Raloff, J.  “Exonerated?”  (2003) Science News (163) 6:84-85.

The Swedish did an analysis that tried to play down the likelihood that people could get cancer from foods that have acrylamide naturally.  Acrylamide is a building block for plastic and an animal carcinogen.  Last year, researchers found that it forms during high-temperature cooking.  Examples include fried and baked foods like potatoes, breads, and starchy foods.  After a study, the researchers concluded that acrylamide in the human diet must be “effectively detoxified.” 

 

“Researchers Dispute Link Between Acrylamide and Some Types of Cancers.”  (2003) Cancer Weekly 2/18/2003:29-30.

A study shows through preliminary research that there is no link between acrylamide and an increased risk in some types of cancer.  There was a follow up article in the British Journal of Cancer (2003;88(2)) from researchers in Sweden and the U.S. found these results.  Experts still caution that the follow up study was too small.

 

 Sharp, David.  “Acrylamide in Food.”  (2003) Lancet (361) 9355:361-362.

Sweden released research reports that showed findings of acrylamide in normally cooked foods.  In 1994, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported acrylamide as a human carcinogen.  Regulatory agencies confirmed the Swedish research and reported that they could give no advice on how to avoid acrylamide in foods or what amount was safe for human consumption. 

 

 Singh, Debashis.  “Dietary Acrylamide May Not Cause Cancer.”  (2003) British Medical Journal (326) 7384:303.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified acrylamide as a human carcinogen in 1994.   In 2002, a Swedish survey found that acrylamide occurs naturally in everyday food products.  Another study was done that shows that it does not seem to raise the level of risk for cancer in humans.

 

Tateo, F. and Bononi, M.  “A GC/MS Method For The Routine Determination of Acrylamide in Food.”  (2003) Italian Journal of Food Science (15) 1:149-151.

The authors describe a simplified analytical method to determine how much acrylamide is in food.  They determined that routine analysis was not attainable from previously published procedures.  The method that they used had a preliminary sample defatting step that was followed by extraction with methanol and concentration.  GC/MS evaluated the acrylamide concentration without derivatization.

 

“U.S. Agency Finds Highly Variable Levels of Worrisome Chemical in Foods.”  (2003) Medical Letter on the CDC & FDA 1/5/2003:8

Federal research that was released December 4, 2002 showed that the level of acrylamide might depend on what length of time the food is cooked.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is doing preliminary testing that is showing how American food compares to other countries in terms of the level of acrylamide found.    Through their research the FDA has also found that by testing the same food, they find different levels of acrylamide.  The FDA has hired a panel of experts to help them find a way to lower the amount of acrylamide in foods.

 

2002 Journal Citations:

 

Joy, David.  “FDA’s Action Plan for Acrylamide.”  (2002) Food Processing (63) 11:24, 26.

Sweden and other countries   have confirmed through research that acrylamide forms through high-temperature cooking of certain starchy foods.  Before this discovery, chemists were the only ones who really knew of this carcinogen.  Chemists knew acrylamide as a chemical intermediate in the production of polyacrylamides, dyes and copolymers for contact lenses.  Acrylamide has always been a chemical that has been severely limited in the water and food supply by laws and regulations.  Now, it is found in cooked starchy foods and raises health concerns.  What question has to be answered now is if acrylamide is as dangerous as what was previous thought.  What is needed to answer this question is a careful, scientific research study.  The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a draft for an action plan for acrylamide, which includes more research of the toxicology of acrylamide.

 

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Page last updated April 6, 2011.


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