Last week, European Member States decided to approve the European Commission’s proposal to reduce the presence of acrylamide in food. Once new regulations are in place, they will require food business operators to “apply mandatory measures to reduce the presence of acrylamide, proportionate to the size and nature of their establishment.”
‘Today we took an important step in protecting the health and well-being of citizens. The new regulation will not only help to reduce the presence of this carcinogenic substance but also will help raise awareness on how to avoid the exposure to it that often times comes from home-cooking.” says Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU’s commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
The next step is for the proposal to be sent to the Council and the European Parliament who will have 3 months to review it before it becomes final. The new regulations could be enforced as early as spring 2018.
After that, the Commission will begin to look at setting maximum levels of acrylamide in certain foods.
What is Acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally forms in starchy food products during every-day high-temperature cooking. It is most commonly associated with potato chips, coffee, crispy and soft breads and other foods via cooking methods like frying, baking, roasting or otherwise browning.
In June 2015, the European Food Safety Authority published its scientific opinion on acrylamide, stating that its presence in food is in fact linked to cancer in consumers of all ages. Specifically, the EC is asking food producers to find ways to reduce acrylamide levels in food products such a cereals, breads, crackers and biscuits.
Source: Food Safety Magazine