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J AOAC Int. 2005 Jan-Feb;88(1):227-33.

Acrylamide: considerations for risk management.

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European Commission, Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection, Rue de la Loi 200, Brussels B-1049, Belgium.


The presence of acrylamide in many carbohydrate-rich foods is due to its formation during conventional heating and preparation methods. Although acrylamide is established to be a toxic substance, the implications to public health from the amounts found in food are not clear. A better scientific understanding is required to help determine whether, and to what extent, formal risk management action might be necessary. Since acrylamide in food was highlighted in 2002, numerous investigations and initiatives have been developed, including international collaborations across governments, industry, research organizations, and consumer representations. The newly generated information is being used to help the overall understanding of this issue. In particular, new information on health aspects will be important to update the scientific risk assessment. The basis for decisions on possible risk management measures would then be clearer. If future risk assessment concludes that the amounts of acrylamide in food can pose a health threat, then options for risk management will need to be considered, such as limits, guide levels, codes of practice, guidance information, and advice to the food and catering industries and to consumers. In the meantime, it is possible to benefit from progress already made on how acrylamide is formed in food and on ways to lower the amounts present. Raising awareness to the approaches that can reduce the presence of acrylamide in food should be encouraged. Where feasible, such approaches can be assessed for practical use in production, processing, and preparation of the relevant food products.

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