Acrylamide is a chemical that is created when many foods, particularly starchy foods like potatoes and bread, are cooked for long periods at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting and roasting.
In the EU, Acrylamide is categorised as carcinogenic. While it is impossible to make any definitive conclusions about cancer risk given the uncertainties in exposure, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends that such chemicals be as low as reasonably practicable.
Forthcoming legislation will require food businesses to take appropriate action to reduce levels of acrylamide according to the principle of ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). Caterers will not be required to test foods, but if they follow Official Industry Guidance this will be sufficient. The BHA is leading a working party of key stakeholders with the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland to develop industry guidance, which will be available free of charge from Summer 2017.
Meanwhile the BHA supports businesses to continue to proactively and voluntarily put simple measures in place to minimise the amount of acrylamide in food.
Here are some top tips to consider;
- Cook foods to light rather than dark colours;
- Always follow manufacturers’ cooking instructions;
- Fry foods at lower temperatures;
- Decrease the cooking time when possible;
- Blanch potatoes before frying them;
- Avoid overheating oils and fats;
- Frequently change oils and fats.
- Don’t store potatoes in the fridge;
- Avoid bruised potatoes.
If you want any top tips or further guidance, please watch the Golden Frying Recipe video produced by Good Fries on frying potato products.
For further information, please contact our Policy Manager, Gabriella Bittante, firstname.lastname@example.org