Browned toast and potatoes are potential cancer risk: Scientists

Jan 25, 2017 16:39 IST

A team of renowned scientists from Food Standards Agency (FSA) of United Kingdom on 23 January 2017 warned that the browned toast, chips and potatoes can cause cancer.

In order to raise awareness about the risk attached to the brown cooked toasts and potatoes, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched a campaign 'Go for Gold' to aware the public about the possible health risk of Acrylamide.

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The campaign clearly states that while frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, one should aim for a golden yellow colour or even lighter one.

As per FSA scientists, when the starchy foods are roasted, grilled or fried for too long at high temperatures (above 120 degree Celsius), they produce a carcinogenic chemical called Acrylamide.

About Acrylamide
• Acrylamide is a chemical compound naturally produced when foods high in starch are fried or baked at high temperatures.
• It can be found in potatoes, chips, crisps, bread, and other cereal and wheat products.
• There is an evidence that rodents, exposed to high levels of acrylamide, develop cancer.
• However, currently, it is little unclear whether a similar risk exists in human beings.
• World Health Organization defines acrylamide as probably carcinogenic to humans.

Recommendations of FSA

• Go for gold: Aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes and bread.
• Check the pack: Check carefully for the cooking instructions on the pack and follow carefully while frying or oven-cooking packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes, etc.
• Eat a varied and balanced diet: Eating a varied, balanced and healthy diet will help reduce the risk of cancer.
• Don't keep raw potatoes in the fridge: Do not store raw potatoes in the fridge, if one wants to roast or fry them. Raw potatoes should ideally be stored in a dark and cool place.


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