Acrylamide may be causing or contributing to
neurodegenerative diseases. New poisons are adding to
our diseases and compounding our health
challenges. A new word for your vocabulary is
ACRYLAMIDE. This cancer causing nerve damaging
chemical is formed by certain sugars in our diet when
those sugars are boiled in oil. The most noted
food products are French fries and potato chips.
Here are four very informative articles: 1)
Acrylamide report from San Francisco Chronicle; 2)
Acrylamide report from Medical Doctor Gabe Mirkin; 3)
Questions and Answers by the FDA on Acrylamide; and 4)
An Abstract from a research paper indicating that the
healthful sugar trehalose suppresses the forming of
Acrylamide in foods.
Lawsuit over potato chip ingredient settled
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Frito-Lay and two other potato chip companies have
agreed to reduce the levels of a cancer-causing
chemical in their products in a settlement of a state
lawsuit, Attorney General Jerry Brown said Friday
The court-approved settlement comes three years
after Brown's predecessor, Bill Lockyer, sued
fast-food chains and potato chip companies, saying
they had failed to warn California consumers about the
dangers of acrylamide.
Besides Frito-Lay, which sells most of the potato
chips in California, the other companies agreeing to
reduce acrylamide levels are Kettle Foods, maker of
Kettle Chips, and Lance Inc., maker of Cape Cod Chips,
Brown's office said. In another settlement last week,
Heinz agreed to cut in half the acrylamide levels in
Ore-Ida frozen french fries and tater tots and pay
$600,000 in penalties and costs, the state said.
Brown called the settlement "a victory for
public health and safety in California" and
called for similar actions by other makers of chips
and french fries.
Procter & Gamble agreed in January to reduce
acrylamide by 50 percent in Pringles potato chips.
McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's and Burger King agreed last
year to post warnings about acrylamide in chips and
Acrylamide is produced when potatoes and other
starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures. It is
used industrially for treating sewage, and its
presence in food was unknown in 1990 when California
listed the chemical as a cancer-causing substance
under Proposition 65. That initiative, passed in 1986,
requires companies to post warnings of exposure to
substances that cause cancer or birth defects.
Swedish scientists were the first to detect
acrylamide in food in a 2002 study. The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration is studying the chemical but has
not imposed nationwide restrictions. The FDA has
advised consumers that they can reduce the levels of
acrylamide in fried potatoes by not over-browning them
The settlement requires the potato chip producers
to reduce acrylamide to 275 parts per billion in three
years, a low enough level to avoid a Prop. 65 warning
label. That amounts to a 20 percent reduction for
Frito-Lay and an 87 percent reduction for Kettle
Chips, Brown's office said. Little or no reduction
will be needed for most Cape Cod chips, but one
product, Cape Cod Robust Russets, will require a
warning label, the attorney general said.
The companies also agreed to pay nearly $2 million
in penalties and costs.
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Here is a report on Acrylamide by Medical Doctor
Research in four countries is suggesting that
French fries and potato chips may be a leading cause
of cancer in the Western world. Scientists at the
meeting of the World Health Organization and the
United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization are
very concerned about the very high levels of
acrylamide in the food supply. Acrylamide is a
chemical used in the manufacture of plastics. It was
first discovered to be present in certain foods cooked
at high temperatures as the result of work announced
in Sweden in April 2002.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have
concluded that acrylamide causes cancer in laboratory
animals, but there are no studies of the relationship
between acrylamide and cancer in humans. However,
solid research shows that acrylamide can cause nerve
damage in humans, such as loss of feeling, loss muscle
control and tingling.
The Swedish research and subsequent studies in
Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United
States, have found that acrylamide levels in certain
starch-based foods, such as potato chips, french
fries, cookies, cereals and bread, were well above the
level given in the World Health Organization's
Guideline Values for Drinking Water Quality.
Potato chips contain 500 times the maximum allowable
amounts of acrylamide, and French fries sold in fast
food chains contain more than 100 times the maximal
allowable amounts. Tortilla chips, breakfast cereals,
breads, cookies, crackers, and other bakery products
contain smaller but significant amounts of acrylamide.
Acrylamide belongs to a class of chemicals that
form advanced glycation end products, also known by
their first letters as AGEs. They are a group of
molecules that are formed when sugar attaches on
protein when starchy foods such as potatoes and grains
are cooked in the absence of water at very high
temperatures. They do not form when food is cooked in
water, and the higher the cooking temperature, the
more acrylamide is formed.
Diabetics form advanced glycation products in their
bodies because high blood sugar levels cause sugar to
stick on the protein in cell membranes to form AGES,
and it is these AGEs that cause the horrible side
effects of diabetes, such as blindness, deafness,
heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage. AGEs can
damage every tissue in the body. HBA1C, the blood test
doctors use to measure control of diabetes, actually
measures this sugar bound to the protein on a person's
cells. AGEs may also cause cancers, aging of tissues,
and arteriosclerosis by raising cholesterol and
causing clotting and are associated with loss of
kidney function, Alzheimer's disease, thinning and
wrinkling of skin and cataracts.
Exciting research from the University of Reading in
England may eventually allow us to eat French fires
and potato chips without being harmed by acrylamides
(4). Deep frying at high temperature causes sugar in
potatoes to stick to protein to form acrylamides.
Donald Mottram showed that asparagine, only one of the
21 amino acids that form protein in humans, sticks to
sugar. If this is true, it may be relatively simple to
finding and use strains of potato with a low
asparagine content, or genetically engineer potatoes
or wheat that lacks asparagine. Then foods could be
made from them that did not have asparagine available
to form acrylamide.
Cooking with water prevents sugars from binding to
proteins to form these poisonous chemicals. Since
steamed and boiled vegetables, whole grains, beans and
fruits are cooked with water, they do not contain
significant amounts of advanced glycation products.
This is another reason that you should eat your
fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans -- raw or
cooked with water. We no longer recommend eating
potato chips or French fries as a source of salt when
you exercise, and we will avoid eating them ourselves.
1) Margareta Tomquist, Stockholm University , pres
2) Helen Vlassara, at the Picower Institute for
Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. presented to the
annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in
San Francisco June, 1996.
3) Raj, D Choudhury, TC Welbourne, , Levi. Advanced
products: A nephrologist's perspective. American
Journal of Kidney Diseases, 2000, Vol 35, Iss 3, pp
4) Nature, Vol 419, pp 448-449
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Here is the FDA’s Acrylamide Questions and
What is acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some
foods during high-temperature cooking processes,
such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide in
food forms from sugars and an amino acid that are
naturally present in food; it does not come from
food packaging or the environment.
Is acrylamide found anywhere else? Does it have
Acrylamide is produced industrially for use in
products such as plastics, grouts, water treatment
products, and cosmetics. Acrylamide is also found in
Is acrylamide something new in food? When was
acrylamide first detected in food?
Acrylamide has probably always been present in
cooked foods. However, acrylamide was first detected
in certain foods in April 2002.
Is there a risk from eating foods that contain
Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies
where animals were exposed to acrylamide at very
high doses. Acrylamide causes nerve damage in people
exposed to very high levels at work. FDA has not yet
determined the exact public health impact, if any,
of acrylamide from the much lower levels found in
foods. FDA is conducting research studies to
determine whether acrylamide in food is a potential
risk to human health.
How does acrylamide form in food?
Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid (asparagine)
during certain types of high-temperature cooking,
such as frying, roasting, and baking.
What kinds of cooking lead to acrylamide formation?
In what foods?
High temperature cooking, such as frying,
roasting, or baking, is most likely to cause
acrylamide formation. Boiling and steaming do not
typically form acrylamide. Acrylamide is found
mainly in foods made from plants, such as potato
products, grain products, or coffee. Acrylamide does
not form, or forms at lower levels, in dairy, meat,
and fish products. Generally, acrylamide is more
likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer
periods or at higher temperatures.
Should I stop eating foods that are fried, roasted,
No, all these foods are part of a regular diet.
FDA's best advice for acrylamide and eating is that
consumers adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent
with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that
emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and
fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes
lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts;
and is low in saturated fats, trans fats,
cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
What is FDA doing about acrylamide in food?
FDA has initiated a broad range of activities on
acrylamide since the discovery of acrylamide in food
in April 2002. FDA accomplishments include the
Developed an Action Plan outlining FDA’s goals
and planned activities on acrylamide in food.
Convened two meetings of FDA’s Food Advisory
Committee/Subcommittee for input on FDA’s acrylamide
Developed a sensitive method for measuring
acrylamide in food and posted the method on FDA’s
Analyzed and posted acrylamide testing results for
approximately 2600 food samples.
Launched a comprehensive research program to study
Published peer-reviewed research on acrylamide
toxicology and detection methods.
Conducted research on ways to reduce acrylamide in
Prepared assessments of consumer exposure to
Posted Qs and As and consumer information on
acrylamide on FDA’s website.
What FDA data are available on acrylamide levels in
FDA has posted its current data on acrylamide in
foods on the CFSAN web site at Acrylamide in Food.
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Suppressive Effect of Trehalose on Acrylamide
Formation from Asparagine and Reducing Saccharides
Title: Suppressive Effect of Trehalose on
Acrylamide Formation from Asparagine and Reducing
Saccharides Author; OKU KAZUYUKI(Amase Inst.,
Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) KUROSE
MAYUMI(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical
Laboratories, Inc.) OGAWA TOHRU(Amase Inst.,
Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) KUBOTA
MICHIO(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical
Laboratories, Inc.) CHAEN HIROTO(Amase Inst.,
Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) FUKUDA
SHIGEHARU(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical
Laboratories, Inc.) TSUJISAKA YOSHIO(Amase Inst.,
Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) Journal
Title; Biosci Biotechnol Biochem
Journal Code: G0021A
VOL. 69;NO.8;PAGE.1520-1526 (J-STAGE)(2005)
Figure&Table&Reference;FIG.4, TBL.4, REF.9
Pub. Country;Japan Language;
English Abstract: The influence of saccharides on
the formation of acrylamide (AcA) was investigated.
The reducing saccharides reacted with asaparagine to
form AcA, but the non-reducing saccharides, except
sucrose, gave no AcA. AcA formation from a mixture
containing glucose and asaparagaine was suppressed by
the non-reducing saccharides, especially trehalose
(76% suppression) and neotrehalose (75% suppression).
Glucose is heat-degraded into pyruvaldehyde and
5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural in the water system. The
degradation products react with asparagines to
generate AcA. Trehalose appears to inhibit not only
the formation of these intermediates and asparagines
for AcA, but also the AcA formation from these
intermediates. (Author abst.)