December 20, 2002
Bruce Ganem, a professor in Cornell University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has offered a more-detailed chemical explanation about how acrylamide is produced when starch-containing foods are fried or cooked at high temperatures. His theory is proposed in a letter, "Explaining acrylamides in food," in a recent issue of the journal Chemical and Engineering News (Dec. 2, 2002).
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Last April Swedish scientists discovered high levels of a potentially cancer-causing chemical called acrylamide in wide range of starch-containing foods that are fried or baked, particularly french fries, potato chips and crackers. The announcement received worldwide publicity. But at the time, no one knew where the acrylamide came from, how it was formed, or, indeed, if there is a link between acrylamide in food and cancer. The findings were quickly confirmed by the British Food Standards Agency. Earlier this autumn the source of the acrylamide was identified independently by researchers at the University of Reading in England, Nestlι in Switzerland and Procter & Gamble in the United States. They showed that acrylamide is produced when asparagine, an amino acid abundant in cereals and grains, is heated above 100 degrees Centigrade (212 degrees Fahrenheit) with either of two sugars, glucose or 2-deoxyglucose.
The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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Cornell University. "Cornell Chemist Explains How Acrylamide, A Possible Carcinogen, Might Be Formed When Starch-Rich Foods Are Fried Or Baked." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021220075121.htm>.
Cornell University. (2002, December 20). Cornell Chemist Explains How Acrylamide, A Possible Carcinogen, Might Be Formed When Starch-Rich Foods Are Fried Or Baked. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021220075121.htm
Cornell University. "Cornell Chemist Explains How Acrylamide, A Possible Carcinogen, Might Be Formed When Starch-Rich Foods Are Fried Or Baked." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021220075121.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).