Where and how does acrylamide ocur?
Acrylamide is a chemical substance that is produced during the frying and baking of starchy foods at high temperatures.
But it is also found in tobacco smoke and coffee. Acrylamide is suspected to be carcinogenic. Read here, what foods have high acrylamide values, why this substance is dangerous and how you can avoid it.
Acrylamide in foodstuffs forms when these are heated strongly (over 120 degrees Celsius). However, only if the respective food is carbohydrate-rich, because acrylamide needs for its formation both the protein building block asparagine and sugar – and nothing else is carbohydrates.
This explains why, for example, meat, although it is sprouted, remains free from acrylamide. Chips, on the other hand, consist of potato slices, which contain both asparagine and starch. The frying process then promotes the formation of acrylamide.
Fries also make this fabric easy when you do not pay attention to the temperature during cooking – no matter whether you put it in the fryer or in the oven.
Acrylamide is a by-product of the browning reaction. These give products such as biscuits, pizza, crisp bread, roasted breakfast flakes, toast etc. the typical dark (re) color and the characteristic fragrance and taste.
However, this also means that more foods are heated, the more they are browned and these foods contain larger amounts of acrylamide. Coffee, which is also roasted in processing, also contains acrylamide, even if one would not necessarily suspect it.
It is not easy to see in which foodstuffs and in what amounts acrylamide occurs. Therefore, various authorities publish lists with the corresponding data.
For example, If 200 grams of potato chips are used, the acrylamide uptake may be up to 200 micrograms. A portion of french fries (240 grams) brings it up to 144 micrograms and 20 grams of crispbread still at nine micrograms.
Why is acrylamide dangerous?
How much acrylamide is harmful to health is currently unclear. There is no set maximum or limit. The fact that this substance is bad for the health. Experts state that acrylamide in food, or their (excessive) consumption, presumably increases cancer risk.
In animal experiments, acrylamide has proven to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. Clear scientific evidence, whether this also applies to humans, does not exist so far. Nevertheless, experts advise against consuming as little as possible for the sake of safety.
How to avoid from acrylamide?
The good news: There are a few strategies to absorb as little acrylamide as possible, for example:
- Egg or egg yolks in pastry like biscuits also keep the acrylamide values slightly lower.
- Potatoes should be stored at no less than eight degrees and do not have green spots, both of which promote the formation of acrylamide during the later preparation.
- Frying should be done if at all, then only at a maximum of 175 degrees Celsius (grease thermometer, which measures more accurately) and small amounts into the hot fat, as this reduces the frying time. 100 grams should be at least, otherwise it will be too hot for the food.
- French fries should also not be laid over each other on the baking sheet and should be rather thick since the harmful substance is mainly formed in the edge layers and the surface area is then smaller compared to the total product.