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Acrylamide is a Dangerous Chemical Compound Lurking in Your Food

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Scientists say that the numerous products we eat on a daily basis can be dangerous to our health due to the acrylamide contained within them.

What is acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical compound that is used to produce a polyacrylamide polymer for the manufacture of plastic packaging. This polymer comes in the form of varnishes, resins, paints, glue, and various liquid cleansers.

Permissible levels

According to data from IARC, acrylamide causes gene mutations and has carcinogenic effects on humans.

The WHO has set a limit value for water content – 0.1 micrograms (μg) per liter. In Germany, plastic packaging manufacturers are required to ensure that when a plastic bag is in contact with food products, it will not contain more than 10 milligrams of the dangerous substance per kilogram of product.

When was this sensational discovery made?

It was made in Summer 2002 by a group of scientists from Stockholm University. In a blood test, they found that the samples had a significant concentration of acrylamide. After this discovery, they began testing everyday food like muesli, french fries, corn rods, biscuits, and crackers.

Shocking results were obtained – the acrylamide content exceeded 100 times the limit for water. The data were verified and confirmed in laboratories in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

How it gets into the food

Flour, bread, rice, raw potatoes, meat, fish, and many other foods were carefully tested for acrylamide.

Scientists have found that products made from starch-rich potatoes and cereals have become clogged with it. Another regularity has plagued specialists: these products have undergone heat treatment at a temperature above 120 degrees.

The high content of acrylamide comes from the amino acid called “asparagine” which, when heated from 120 to 185 degrees or more, becomes a toxic and harmful compound.

Say NO to fried foods

Acrylamide appears in finished products not because manufacturers want to harm us. It just depends on how you prepare the food. If you fry potatoes at home in the fryer, the amount of the dangerous substance will be the same as in the fried potatoes that are sold.

To avoid the risk of elevated levels of acrylamide in food, you should boil or steam the products and not fry them.

You should not reheat fried foods in the oven or in the pan since the acrylamide levels could raise.

Prepare cooked and stewed meals for children to reduce the consumption of this dangerous substance.