Science and Tech


FDA Finds Chemical In Fried Foods Linked To Cancer

The chemical called acrylamide forms in plant-based foods when they are cooked at high temperatures. It increases when they are overcooked or burned.
Posted at 8:02 AM, Nov 17, 2013

The FDA has a new warning tied to plant-based foods that are cooked at high temperatures. New research says those foods could possibly increase your risk for cancer.

The chemical is called acrylamide, and it develops in products like french fries, toast and even coffee when they are cooked and roasted at high temperatures. (Via WOAI)

ABC points out the longer you cook your food, the more acrylamide there will be. For example, dark brown fries could have up to three times as much acrylamide as golden brown fries.

But KSTU points out the study was done on animals. So far there hasn't been any concrete evidence from the study showing an increased cancer risk in humans.

The FDA, however, is still advising people to cut back on acrylamide in any way they can.

Forbes points out there's evidence showing about 40 percent of the calories people consume every day could have the chemical.

On its website, the FDA has side-by-side comparisons of both french fries and toast to show how your food should and shouldn't look. The foods on the right were cooked longer, which means they have more acrylamide.

The National Cancer Institute says acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke, but when it comes to foods, the two biggest offenders are french fries and potato chips.

While the FDA says it probably isn't practical to cut all acrylamide from your diet, it adds cutting down on foods tied to the chemical wouldn't hurt.