Acrylamide: New requirements for minimization
by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)
Within the EU, new rules apply on the use of acrylamide, which is harmful to people’s health. The new EU Acrylamide Regulation came into force in April. The new regulation aims at a further reduction of the harmful substance, which is mainly found in fried, roasted and baked products and is considered carcinogenic in animal experiments.
The regulation defines guideline values for acrylamide in individual food groups, about 500 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg) for ready-to-eat French fries, 350 µg/kg for biscuits and waffles or 400 µg/kg for roasted coffee. Food manufacturers are obliged to implement reduction measures affecting both the raw materials used and the recipes and production temperatures. They also have to check the content of acrylamide precursors in the relevant ingredients and of acrylamide in the final product on a regular basis. If the guide value is exceeded, they have to adjust their minimization strategy. The EU wants to limit the acrylamide content to a technically feasible minimum amount. To this end, the guide values are to be reviewed every three years and adjusted if necessary.
Fewer acrylamide in food since 2002
In 2002, acrylamide was thematized as a food contaminant that increases the risk of cancer among consumers for the first time. Since then, manufacturers have already significantly reduced the amount of acrylamide in the relevant food products. These new, stricter values could lead to relevant consumer magazines picking up on the pollutant again by scandalising products exceeding the new guideline values.