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Firms rush to market with acrylamide control product ahead of new regs


07 Feb 2019 (Food Safety News) -- Firms rush to market with acrylamide control product ahead of new regs

No one knew acrylamide even existed until it was discovered in 2002. It’s been around close to forever, though. Awareness of the chemical raised a problem. It is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At high doses in laboratory animals, acrylamide causes cancer.

FDA came out three years ago with non-binding guidance “to help growers, manufacturers and foodservice operators reduce acrylamide levels in certain foods.”

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) took a different path. It classified acrylamide as a carcinogen in 2015 and asked industry for volunteer reductions for a spell before turning to a full-blown European Union (EU) regulatory action.

The EU regulations, setting maximum allowable levels of acrylamide in certain foods, took effect in April.

Acrylamide forms from a naturally present amino acid called free asparagine when it interacts with sugars in foods during high-temperature processing, such as dying, roasting and baking. It is naturally present in starchy foods when they are roasted, baked or fried at high temperatures.

Manufacturers of bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, fried potatoes, and coffee will be among those most affected by the pending EU regulation. Benchmark levels are being used to measure the effectiveness of mitigation measures the industry may use.

The levels will be legally binding at the outset. There might be a solution.

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