Food and Drug Administration is issuing guidance to the food
industry on how to reduce levels of acrylamide — a chemical
that forms in foods cooked at high heat, such as french fries
and potato chips.
is a chemical formed when an amino acid (asparagine) reacts
with sugar," says Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical director of
the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. " It’s been
demonstrated as causing cancer in animals and is classified as
‘reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen in humans’ (as
opposed to proven carcinogens, such as asbestos)."
continues, "It is difficult to know exactly what safe
levels are in the food supply or in our bodies, so the FDA is
taking the approach of providing guidelines to the food
industry to voluntarily do what they can to decrease
acrylamide. This involves things, such as not heating food to
extremely high temperatures, choosing varieties of potatoes
that are low in acrylamide and other methods."
recommends that consumers follow a healthy eating plan
consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which
may help to keep acrylamide levels low.