CHICAGO - Having reviewed new and preliminary government data provided Wednesday, the international, not-for-profit scientific society Institute of Food Technologists assures consumers they need not fear acrylamide in high temperature, high carbohydrate foods as long as they maintain a well-balanced diet.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition published yesterday a vast array of food products recently tested to determine the level of acrylamide contained therein. Testing included baby foods, breads, potato chips, snack foods, seasonings and other widely consumed products. According to the data, acrylamide levels varied widely and were affected by simple preparations often applied at home.
"If these data are confirmed it will be apparent that acrylamide has been in our diets for generations, as we've been frying potatoes, baking chicken and toasting bread for years and years," said Charles Santerre, food science expert with IFT and professor and food toxicologist at Purdue University.
"While acrylamide is formed in foods during processing, its levels can also increase in the home. This FDA data shows that acrylamide in bread can increase by 1000 percent just from toasting," noted Santerre. "Remember that grains in bread, whether fresh or toasted, are still part of a healthy diet."
IFT supports the statements by CFSAN that these data should not be taken to indicate the distribution of acrylamide levels in U.S. foods, or as an indicator of product choices by consumers. IFT echoes CFSAN conclusions that differences in acrylamide levels between foods or between brands at this time do not necessarily indicate differences in exposure or potential risk that would be experienced by consumers.
IFT recognizes the important areas for further study include: dietary exposure levels; toxicological and metabolic consequences; learning how acrylamide is formed from natural components, and other areas. Until conclusions can be properly formulated, IFT recommends following nutritional guidelines with a balanced diet that can include these foods in moderation.
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit scientific society with 27,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues. For more on IFT, see www.ift.org.