Health Canada begins acrylamide monitoring

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Acrylamide, Potato, Cooking

Health Canada has begun the first phase of its monitoring program for acrylamide content, following the chemical’s inclusion on the nation’s toxic substance list last week.

Initially, the program will focus on establishing which foods present the greatest danger of acrylamide exposure. It will examine bread, pizza, breaded chicken nuggets, coffee, French fries, breakfast cereals, potato chips, cookies, crackers, baby food, biscuits, snack foods, cocoa, baking chocolate, cakes, pies, peanut butter, olives and prune juice, Health Canada said.

Acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen, is not added to foods but is produced when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures. It is formed by a reaction, known as the Maillard effect, between sugar and an amino acid called asparagine, which creates the brown color and tasty flavor of baked, fried and toasted foods.

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