Potato Chips / Cookies/Crackers / Industry News

FDA issues draft guidance for food industry for reducing acrylamide

November 21, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance for the food industry to help growers, manufacturers and foodservice operators take steps to reduce levels of acrylamide in certain foods.

Efforts to reduce acrylamide levels are already underway in many sectors throughout the food industry. In issuing its draft guidance, the FDA seeks to help all companies, particularly smaller ones with fewer resources, reduce acrylamide in products susceptible to its formation.

Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during certain types of high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting and baking. Acrylamide in food is a concern because the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program that evaluates possible health risks associated with exposure to certain chemicals, characterizes the substance as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

To help mitigate potential human health risks, the FDA’s draft guidance recommends that companies be aware of the levels of acrylamide in the foods they produce and consider adopting approaches, if feasible, that reduce acrylamide in their products. The draft guidance also offers a range of possible approaches that growers, manufacturers and foodservice operators can take to help reduce acrylamide levels.

The draft guidance, which is nonbinding, covers raw materials, processing practices and ingredients affecting potato-based foods (such as French fries and potato chips), cereal-based foods (such as cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and toasted bread) and coffee, each of which is a significant source of acrylamide exposure.

The draft guidance is part of a number of activities initiated by the FDA to study acrylamide in food and help manage potential risks to human health. A summary of the FDA’s acrylamide work is available on the agency’s website at www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/ChemicalContaminants/ucm2006782.htm. Constituent Updates are also available at www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/default.htm.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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