Acrylamide is a chemical that forms when some foods are subjected to high temperatures during cooking and processing.  It is found in a wide range of home-cooked and processed foods.

The recent Total Diet Study revealed the highest concentrations of acrylamide was found in snacks – particularly fried potatoes and cereal food groups, including breakfast cereals and sweet biscuits, although levels were found in most food groups making it impossible to avoid complete exposure to this.

Following publication, the Food Standards Agency have launched their “Go for Gold” campaign to highlight the issue of acrylamide in food and help the public minimise their exposure when cooking at home.  So, how can we avoid acrylamide production?

    1. When frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables or bread, aim for a “golden yellow” colour or lighter.
    1. Follow cooking instructions carefully to ensure starchy foods aren’t cooked for too long at temperatures which are too high.
    1. Eat a healthy balanced diet that includes the recommended 5-a-day fruit & vegetables.
    1. Don’t keep raw potatoes in the fridge if you intend to roast or fry them.

Put into context, we shouldn’t be over browning or burning our food anyway.  The Food Standards Agency campaign messaging does, however, seem to be working as my husband said the other day “Oh dear, it’s a bit more than gold”…

For further information, see:

Food Standards Agency (2017) Total diet study of inorganic contaminants, acrylamide & mycotoxins.  For more information, visit: https://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/chemical-safety-research/env-cont/fs102081

Food Standards Agency (2017) Families urged to ‘Go for Gold’ to reduce acrylamide consumption.  For more information, visit:

https://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2017/15890/families-urged-to-go-for-gold-to-reduce-acrylamide-consumption