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Fitness & Health

26th Nov 2017

New EU regulations will bring a big change to pretty much all of your favourite snack foods

The list of foods affected includes all of your faves.

Rory Cashin

Chips Harvard

It is for the greater good.

In a statement released this week, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have announced that they are welcoming new EU Regulations that aim to reduce consumer exposure to potentially harmful acrylamide in food products.

Acrylamide is a chemical substance that naturally forms when frying, roasting or baking particular carbohydrate-rich foodstuffs at temperatures above 120°C.

The issue is that acrylamide is said to have some harmful carcinogenic effects, and are more likely to appear in foods that are cooked at higher temperatures for longer amounts of time.

The list of foods and drinks that contain acrylamide include but are not limited to:

  • French fries
  • Potato crisps
  • Crackers
  • Breads
  • Biscuits
  • Cookies
  • Rusks
  • Cereal bars
  • Scones
  • Cornets
  • Wafers
  • Crumpets
  • Gingerbread
  • Breakfast cereals (excluding porridge)
  • Coffee and coffee substitutes

Dr Pamela Byrne, the Chief Executive of the FSAI, had this advice for consumers:

“We urge consumers to be aware of some simple steps to avoid exposure. It is known that this chemical does not occur in boiled foods so consumers should consider boiling foods as part of maintaining an overall healthy balanced diet to reduce any risks. If consumers are frying, roasting, toasting or baking starchy foods then they should ensure to avoid burning and cook food to a light golden colour, whilst always following the cooking instructions on the label.”

The new regulations will be put in place from 11 April 2018, with food producers and caterers being informed that they should avoid over cooking fried, baked or grilled potato and cereal products, while consumers should also avoid eating partially burned food.

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