Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What Are The Health Effects Of Acrylamide And How Can It Be Reduced In Food?

Date:
August 22, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Acrylamide, a widely-used synthetic chemical that some studies have linked to cancer and neurological damage, has recently been shown to occur naturally in an increasing number of foods ranging from French fries to coffee. What are the potential health effects of acrylamide and how can its content in food be reduced?

Acrylamide, a synthetic chemical widely used as a water treatment agent and in the manufacture of adhesives, dyes and fabrics, has recently been shown to occur naturally in an increasing number of foods ranging from French fries to coffee.

Related Articles


Some studies have linked high levels of acrylamide to cancer in animals and neurological damage in humans. Despite uncertainties over acrylamide's actual health effects at the levels found in food, there is heightened public awareness about this compound.

The potential health effects of acrylamide and ways to reduce its content in foods will be explored Aug. 21-23 in a three-day symposium, "Chemistry and Toxicology of Acrylamide," during the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The following are brief summaries of selected papers.

Dietary acrylamide may play a role in Alzheimer's

Scientists have known for years that acrylamide is capable of causing nerve damage in humans, including muscle weakness and impaired muscle coordination, particularly from industrial exposure to large levels of the chemical. Now, new laboratory studies suggest that chronic dietary exposure to the chemical is capable of damaging nerve cells in the brain and could potentially play a role in the development of neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer's, according to Richard LoPachin, Jr., Ph.D., a neurotoxicologist with Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He notes that acrylamide is structurally similar to acrolein, a chemical found in increased levels in brains of patients with Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Studies in humans are warranted, the researcher says.

Acrylamide found in dried fruits

Dried fruits, which are rich in fiber and antioxidants, have long been promoted as healthful alternatives to fresh fruits. Now, Thomas Amrein and his associates at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have found acrylamide in dried fruits, a surprising finding considering that these products are dried at relatively mild temperatures instead of the high temperatures, through baking and frying, that usually produce the chemical. The study suggests that acrylamide is capable of being formed under relatively mild conditions through reactions that are not fully understood, the researchers say. Of the different dried fruits tested, the highest concentrations of the chemical were found in dried pears and prunes, they say.

Fat found to be significant source of acrylamide in food

Studies have shown that carbohydrates and amino acids, particularly the non-essential amino acid asparagine, are the main chemicals in food that are responsible for acrylamide formation. Now, a new study by researchers in Spain indicates for the first time that dietary fats make a significant contribution to the formation of acrylamide. The researchers found that high fat levels in roasted almonds may account for as much as half of the acrylamide found in this food and likely accounts for high levels found in other high fat foods, according to study leader Francisco J. Hidalgo, Ph.D., of the Instituto de la Grasa in Seville. Although the researchers say they have not yet demonstrated that reducing fat content in foods actually reduces acrylamide, the study provides a new target to consider in efforts to reduce acrylamide formation.

Farming techniques, biotechnology may help lower acrylamide

Researchers in England are experimenting with novel agricultural practices and biotechnology in an effort to help reduce acrylamide levels in food crops. Nigel Halford, of Rothamsted Research, in collaboration with the University of Reading, says that increasing soil sulfur levels in wheat crops and reducing nitrogen availability in crops can decrease levels of asparagine, an acrylamide precursor. The researchers have also produced a new variety of potato through genetic modification that contains lower sugar levels than conventional potatoes and are targeting plant genes responsible for controlling asparagine levels in an effort to reduce acrylamide levels in food crops.

Acrylamide not linked to breast cancer in U.S. women

Foods that contain acrylamide are unlikely to cause breast cancer, according to preliminary results of a new study involving 100,000 U.S. women followed over a 20 year period. The study is the largest epidemiological study to date exploring the possible link between acrylamide and cancer in humans. Led by Lorelei Mucci, ScD, an epidemiologist at Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, the study found that the incidence of breast cancer among women whose acrylamide consumption was considered high was roughly equal to the incidence among those whose acrylamide consumption was low. For further information see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821090501.htm

.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "What Are The Health Effects Of Acrylamide And How Can It Be Reduced In Food?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821090455.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, August 22). What Are The Health Effects Of Acrylamide And How Can It Be Reduced In Food?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821090455.htm
American Chemical Society. "What Are The Health Effects Of Acrylamide And How Can It Be Reduced In Food?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821090455.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins