Sunday, September 27, 2009


Controversy generated by the Swedish report in 2002 regarding presence of Acrylamide at ppb levels in high carbohydrate foods exposed to high temperatures during preparation or processing is still eluding a definite conclusion though several studies in animals have implicated it in some serious health hazards. In a few countries upper limits have been suggested while many others have not yet taken seriously the data generated in rat studies. Even some fast food companies in the West have been taken to the court or fined for presence of this chemical in their products.

"A natural byproduct of cooking high-carbohydrate foods at high temperatures, Acrylamide also turns up in a wide variety of roasted and baked foods, including breakfast cereal, baby food, bread and crackers. Research has shown that the chemical can cause tumors and neurological problems in lab animals when they are fed unnaturally large doses".

One has to note that the results implicating Acrylamide in health problems have not yet been demonstrated in humans and even the present data pertains to use of unusually high levels of this chemical in feeding trials. How far such data can be correlated to humans is still uncertain. It is commendable that many in the industry are developing ways and means of avoiding Acrylamide generation during the processing stage and the awareness about possible dangers may spur the consumers also to exercise caution while cooking certain foods at home. A global consensus needs to be evolved regarding this issue through cooperative scientific studies.


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