Frédéric Mestdagh - Articles and news items
Issue 3 2011 • 7 July 2011 • Raquel Medeiros Vinci, Frédéric Mestdagh & Bruno De Meulenaer. NutriFOODchem Unit, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University
In 2002, The Swedish National Food Administration reported relevant amounts of acrylamide in several carbohydrate rich foods when baked at high temperatures (> 120°C) upon frying, baking and roasting. Toxicological studies demonstrated the carcinogenicity of acrylamide in animals and thus indicated potential health risks for humans. Consequently, in 1994, the IARC evaluated acrylamide as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)1 (IARC, 1994). Even though the risks associated with the carcinogenicity of acrylamide intake in humans still present some uncertainties2, this contaminant is present at quite high levels in many food products consumed daily. Because of this, it is essential to evaluate the ‘margin of exposure’ (MOE) for acrylamide, which represents the ratio between a particular point on the dose–response curve leading to tumours in experimental animals and the human intake.
In 2002, Swedish researchers discovered that within certain foods, significant levels of acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen formed during heating processes such as frying, roasting or baking. Free asparagine and reducing sugars were indicated as the most important precursors. Over the past few years, significant progress has been made to reduce acrylamide formation.
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