Researchers at Leeds and Reading have discovered
how ordinary foods, such as chips and crisps,
come to contain a potential carcinogen and
- at high doses a nerve poison, and in trace
amounts a probable carcinogen is produced
when plant-based foods are fried, baked, roasted,
toasted or even microwaved. Its presence in
cooked foods especially chips, crisps
and crackers was discovered by researchers
earlier this year, but until now, the chemical
mechanism which produced it was unknown.
Bronek Wedzicha of the University of Leeds
believed a chemical process called the Maillard
reaction underpinned the acrylamide mystery.
Tests carried out at the University of Reading,
together with his colleague Professor Mottram,
have proved this theory correct. The Maillard
reaction occurs at moderately high temperatures
between amino acids and sugars, and is responsible
for the colour and flavour of cooked food.
we cant avoid acrylamide unless we stop
cooking food altogether, it may be possible
to lessen the amount produced," said
Professor Wedzicha. One obvious piece
of advice is, when youre cooking
dont frazzle it.