Europe: Potato industry associations react to regulation on acrylamide levels

Measures to reduce acrylamide levels in food took a step forward as new draft proposals outline “benchmark” mandatory levels for the industry. The draft project, published on the European Commission (EC) website, asks for producers to apply mitigation measures to reduce the levels of the chemical in products such as French fries, other cut (deep fried) products and sliced potato crisps from fresh potatoes; potato crisps, snacks, crackers and other potato products from potato dough; and other baked goods and coffee. The Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation (ETL) explains that for potato chips, the climate and growing season has an adverse effect on those features affecting the overall acrylamide content in potato chips. Cold storage season (winter) and short growing season tend to lead to high levels of reducing sugars in potato tubers leading to high levels of acrylamide in potato products. The Finnish Frozen Food and Potato Association have written that the suggested benchmark level 750 µg/kg for potato crisps is too low and cause major problems both for local Finnish potato primary production and food processing. Full story by Ioana Oancea