> Browned Toast & Potatoes Pose Potential Cancer Risk, FSA Warns - The Food Safety Company Browned Toast & Potatoes Pose Potential Cancer Risk, FSA Warns - The Food Safety Company
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    Monday, 23 January 2017

    Browned Toast & Potatoes Pose Potential Cancer Risk, FSA Warns


    Toast and ‘taters, as old Samwise would say, are staple parts of the average British diet, consumed in vast quantities across the UK. Now it turns out however, according to newly released advice from the Food Standards Agency, that these high-starch foods could be doing us more harm than we realise; if improperly prepared that is.

    This is due to the presence of the carcinogen acrylamide, which is a natural by-product of the cooking process and is found in many different foods. Heightened concentrations of the substance are found in high-starch foods which have been cooked above 120°C; this includes crisps, bread, cereals, biscuits, cakes and coffee.

    Recent research involving animals has shown the chemical to be toxic to DNA and a potential cause of cancer; despite a lack of conclusive proof as yet, scientists are playing it safe and assuming the effects would be the same or similar for humans.

    Acrylamide is created in foods when the water, sugar and amino acids present combine during the cooking process. This creates both the chemical and the signature ‘browned’ colouration. As a result, the FSA advises closely following cooking instructions on high-starch foods and making an effort to avoid browning. To use toast as the example once again, you should be aiming for a golden-yellow colour.

    Due to the process by which acrylamide is created in foods (see above), the FSA also advises against storing potatoes in the fridge. This is because the low temperatures cause the sugar level of potatoes to rise, which in turn increases the amount of acrylamide produced during cooking.

    Just don't burn 'em, or put 'em in the fridge!
    Sam Bonson

    Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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    Item Reviewed: Browned Toast & Potatoes Pose Potential Cancer Risk, FSA Warns Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Food Safety Co
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