Scientists Warn Browned Toast and Potatoes are ‘Potential Cancer Risk’

London, Bread, chips and potatoes should be cooked to a golden yellow color, rather than brown, to reduce our intake of a chemical which could cause cancer, government food scientists are warning.

Acrylamide is produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends carefully following cooking instructions and avoiding browning, the (BBC) reported.

Acrylamide is present in many different types of food and is a natural by-product of the cooking process. The highest levels of the substance are found in foods with high starch content which have been cooked above 120C, such as crisps, bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, crackers, cakes and coffee.

It can also be produced during home cooking, when high-starch foods – such as potatoes, chips, bread and parsnips – are baked, roasted, grilled or fried at high temperatures.

When bread is grilled to make toast, for example, this causes more acrylamide to be produced. The darker the color of the toast, the more acrylamide is present.

The Food Standards Agency says it is not clear exactly how much acrylamide can be tolerated by people, but it does believe that we are eating too much of it. So it is advising people to make small changes to the way they cook and prepare food, including: go for a golden yellow color when toasting, frying, baking, or roasting starchy foods, don’t keep raw potatoes in the fridge, follow the cooking instructions carefully when heating oven chips, pizzas, roast potatoes and parsnips, and eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Research in animals has shown that the chemical is toxic to DNA and causes cancer, so scientists assume the same is true in people, although as yet there is no conclusive evidence.

The possible effects of acrylamide exposure include an increased lifetime risk of cancer and effects on the nervous and reproductive systems.

Source: Qatar News Agency