Topic 3 Prevention of acrylamide in food

Different approaches are required for different types of food and processes in order to reduce acrylamide in foods. But the rule of thumb is “Don’t burn it, lightly brown in” (European Food Safety Authority, n.d.-a).

Some guidelines that may help people who prepare food to reduce acrylamide, are (European Food Safety Authority, n.d.-a; European Potato Processors, n.d.; FDA, n.d.-a; FDA, n.d.-b; ):

  • Do not store potatoes in the fridge as this increases sugar levels and thus increases acrylamide production during cooking.
  • Prefer cooking methods that do not lead to crust formation, such as steaming and boiling .
  • Do not cook already cooked foods for a second time, but instead heat them up in the microwave.
  • Follow recommended times and temperatures during frying to avoid overcooking, excessive crisping and burning.
  • Wash or soak potatoes in water or citric acid before frying, can reduce acrylamide level in crisps by 40%-75%, although unacceptable changes may occur.
  • Decrease frying temperature to 175°C or less.
  • Use tools to ensure good cooking methods, including calibrated equipment (e.g. timers, frying curves)
  • Toast bread to a golden yellow instead of brown colour.
  • Replacing ammonium bicarbonate in cookies and crackers with alternative leavening agents.
  • Use colour grading charts or clear pictures with targeted final prepared product colours
  • When cooking small amounts, reduce the cooking time.

Image from Goodfries

Below you can watch a short video that shows the best way to toast bread in order to avoid acrylamide production.