Acrylamide has been found in a wide variety of cooked foods, including those prepared industrially, in catering and at home. It is found in staple foods such as bread and potatoes as well as in other everyday products such as crisps, biscuits and coffee.
The contents of acrylamide in breads ranged from below the limit of quantification to 695 μg kg−1 and the mean acrylamide content was 225 μg kg−1. The highest mean level of acrylamide was detected in whole wheat bread.
Its presence in food was first discovered in 2002, and now it is well established that acrylamide is found in potato products, cereal foods (including bread and baked products), and coffee. This book is about bread making.
Wholemeal products have been shown to contain more acrylamide than breads with a lower wholemeal-content; however, wholemeal bread is still thought to be the better option from an overall health point of view since it contains much more vitamins and minerals than white bread.
Acrylamide is formed mainly in carbohydrate-rich foods, during the Maillard reaction between reducing carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, etc.) and amino acids (especially asparagine), a reaction responsible for the formation of specific taste and color (browning/ frying) [8,9,10].
What is acrylamide? Acrylamide is a chemical that's found in starchy foods like bread and potatoes, if they're cooked at high temperatures for a long time. This includes baking, barbequing, frying, grilling, toasting, or roasting.
Toasting bread to a light brown color, rather than a dark brown color, lowers the amount of acrylamide (see Picture B). Very brown areas should be avoided, since they contain the most acrylamide.
It gives a sourdough loaf its beautiful colour, flavour and texture. However, the Maillard reaction also produces acrylamide and laboratory studies have shown acrylamide to be a potential carcinogen.
The link between acrylamide in food and cancer is not clear. The only studies to show a clear link between acrylamide and cancer are animal studies. These involved very high levels of the chemical. Studies that followed people over time did not find a link between eating foods with acrylamide and cancer.
The formation of acrylamide in both banana varieties was enhanced with an increase in both reducing sugars (glucose and fructose). This research demonstrated that the formation of acrylamide was strongly dependent on the concentration of, both glucose and fructose.
Acrylamide is found mainly in foods made from plants, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee. Acrylamide does not form, or forms at lower levels, in dairy, meat, and fish products.
Reduce consumption of foods that contain acrylamide:
Avoid eating a lot of carbohydrate-rich foods that are cooked at high temperatures (e.g., French fries). Foods with higher protein content appear to have lower amounts of acrylamide. Avoid overcooking foods.
Cooking with water (such as simmering, steaming and boiling) will not reach a temperature above 120°C and acrylamide is not formed during these cooking methods. Using microwave oven will also reduce acrylamide formation.
Use the lowest oven temperature possible for the food. Baking foods to a golden yellow, or lighter colour, and at lower oven temperatures will reduce acrylamide levels. When cooking foods such as toast and toasted sandwiches do not over-toast or burn.
The major food sources of acrylamide are French fries and potato chips; crackers, bread, and cookies; breakfast cereals; canned black olives; prune juice; and coffee. Acrylamide levels in food vary widely depending on the manufacturer, the cooking time, and the method and temperature of the cooking process (5, 6).
Once in your body, acrylamide enters your body fluids. Acrylamide and its breakdown products leave your body mostly through urine; small amounts may leave through feces, exhaled air, and breast milk.
Histopathological evidence of acrylamide-induced peripheral neuropathy has been observed in rats receiving oral doses as low as 1 mg/kg/day for 3 months; the observed degenerative effects in peripheral nerve fibers at such dose levels have been shown to be completely reversible within a few months following the ...
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration monitors acrylamide levels in certain foods, and amounts in peanuts and peanut products are low or undetectable. If present, acrylamide naturally forms when peanuts are roasted; it is not added to peanut butter by manufacturers.
Sourdough contains a variety of vitamins and nutrients, making it super beneficial to your day-to-day health. Sourdough bread has small to moderate amounts of: iron, manganese, calcium, B1-B6, B12, folate, zinc, potassium, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, selenium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin E.
Acrylamide in foodstuffs
The most important sources of acrylamide for adults include coffee, casseroles containing starch (potato or pasta) as well as rye bread, and for children casseroles, cookies, crisps and other baked potatoes. This is due to the high amounts in which they are consumed.
How can acrylamide affect my health? The main targets of acrylamide toxicity are the nervous system and reproductive system. Nervous system effects such as muscle weakness, numbness in hands and feet, sweating, unsteadiness, and clumsiness were reported in some acrylamide workers.
Acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in animals exposed to very high doses, and although there is no consistent epidemiological evidence on the effect of acrylamide from food consumption on cancer in humans, both the U.S. National Toxicology Program and the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health ...
Among 58 stir-fried onion samples, acrylamide level of only one sample (2%) was less than LOD (3 ng/g), and those of 15 samples (26%) were less than LOQ (8 ng/g). The median and average values in the stir-fried onion were 14 ng/g and 36 ng/g, respectively.