On the 11th April, new European legislation came into force to help limit the levels of carcinogenic Acrylamide in foods.
Acrymalide is a substance which is formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures (over 120C degrees) such as frying, baking and roasting, especially starchy foods like cereals, potato and coffee.
Acrylamide is formed during high temperature cooking, when water, sugar and amino acids combine to create a food’s characteristic flavour, texture, colour and smell. This process is called the Maillard reaction
Unfortunately acrymalide is now identified as a potential cancer risk and therefore the EU have decided on legislation to limit the levels.
This legislation applies to packaged foods and manufacturers of crisps, cakes, biscuits, coffee, cereals, however the same principles apply to caterers and home diners, where the level of highly cooked foods should be limited and food kept as pale as possible.
The EU legislation is currently still very vague and therefore leading to some confusion but here are a couple of useful resources to find out more.