Topic 1 Foods containing acrylamide

Acrylamide is mainly formed in foods rich in carbohydrates that are baked or fried, consisting of raw materials such as potatoes, grains, cereals and coffee beans. It is not present in the raw ingredients and is not formed during boiling or microwaving (Points, 2017). The amount of acrylamide found in foods varies widely, both with the food category and with the process applied (Lawley et al., 2012).

Acrylamide has also many non-food industrial uses and is present in tobacco smoke. For smokers, tobacco smoking is a more prominent source of acrylamide exposure than food (Lawley et al., 2012). Due to acrylamide’s wide variety of other non-food industrial uses, many people can be exposed in the workplace through skin absorption or inhalation (Rifai & Saleh, 2020).

Common food products that may contain acrylamide are (Lawley et al., 2012):

  • Fried potato products (e.g. French fries, croquettes, roasted potatoes, potato crisps)
  • Roasted coffee and coffee substitutes
  • Baked cereal products (e.g. soft bread, toasted bread, biscuits, crackers, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, pastries)

Acrylamide is not only found in foods produced by food manufacturers, it is formed in traditional cooking methods and is therefore also present in food prepared at home or in restaurants (EUFIC, 2014).

Image from EUFIC