Acrylamide guidance

Acrylamide is a chemical naturally formed when starchy foods (for example, bread, potatoes, biscuits and coffee) are baked, fried or roasted at high temperatures. Prolonged exposure to elevated levels of acrylamide has been shown to cause cancers in animals. However, the evidence in humans is not as clear. Although humans are usually exposed to doses lower than those used in animal research, the general advice to to keep exposure low by taking care when cooking starchy foods, limiting acrylamide formation.

What you can do

As research continues to identify ways to reduce the formation of acrylamide during the heating of some foods, consumers should avoid overcooking (excessive browning) of such foods.  Following the cooking instructions on food packs and cooking equipment can help achieve this goal. In addition, consumers should aim to vary their cooking techniques to include more boiling, steaming and similar methods that help keep acrylamide formation to a minimum. As some of the products that can be high in acrylamide are also energy-dense, they should be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.

For more information on acrylamide, please visit the Food Standards Agency website (external link)