Acrylamide needs to be regulated at the source, says expert

Image result for acrylamideThe EU Commission announced it was going to set maximum acrylamide levels in food last week (Thursday 9), but how can the chemical be managed? Food Navigator spoke to expert Gregor McCombie from Kantonales Labor Zurich, to find out how the industry could reduce their toxicity levels. Kantonales Labor Zurich is a laboratory dedicated to food safety and legislation. McCombie says that setting legal limits for acrylamide is problematic and instead the industry should be regulating reducing sugars for potatoes intended for (deep) frying or roasting as a more effective and easier to enforce method, than reducing acrylamide in final products. “Just considering legal limits on acrylamide in final products is problematic, as limits would need to be high in order to prevent a quasi-ban on certain foods. However, a high limit also equates to an approval up to that level, which will invariably be too high for a carcinogenic substance like acrylamide”. Similarly, McCombie says that the government has underestimated home-cooking, which cannot be regulated, and regulating cooking processes in restaurants is “impractical,” he says. Instead, McCombie suggests regulation at the source as being the most logical answer, urging the food industry to use potato varieties with low reducing sugars and storing them correctly. More