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The Poison Acrylamide is Caused by Sugars in Our Diet When Fried as in French fries and potato chips

Comments by J. C. Spencer

Acrylamide Acrylamide may be causing or contributing to neurodegenerative diseases. New poisons are adding to our diseases and compounding our health challenges.  A new word for your vocabulary is ACRYLAMIDE.  This cancer causing nerve damaging chemical is formed by certain sugars in our diet when those sugars are boiled in oil.  The most noted food products are French fries and potato chips.

Here are four very informative articles: 1) Acrylamide report from San Francisco Chronicle; 2) Acrylamide report from Medical Doctor Gabe Mirkin; 3) Questions and Answers by the FDA on Acrylamide; and 4) An Abstract from a research paper indicating that the healthful sugar trehalose suppresses the forming of Acrylamide in foods.

Lawsuit over potato chip ingredient settled

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, August 2, 2008

Frito-Lay and two other potato chip companies have agreed to reduce the levels of a cancer-causing chemical in their products in a settlement of a state lawsuit, Attorney General Jerry Brown said Friday

The court-approved settlement comes three years after Brown's predecessor, Bill Lockyer, sued fast-food chains and potato chip companies, saying they had failed to warn California consumers about the dangers of acrylamide.

Besides Frito-Lay, which sells most of the potato chips in California, the other companies agreeing to reduce acrylamide levels are Kettle Foods, maker of Kettle Chips, and Lance Inc., maker of Cape Cod Chips, Brown's office said. In another settlement last week, Heinz agreed to cut in half the acrylamide levels in Ore-Ida frozen french fries and tater tots and pay $600,000 in penalties and costs, the state said.

Brown called the settlement "a victory for public health and safety in California" and called for similar actions by other makers of chips and french fries.

Procter & Gamble agreed in January to reduce acrylamide by 50 percent in Pringles potato chips. McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's and Burger King agreed last year to post warnings about acrylamide in chips and fries.

Acrylamide is produced when potatoes and other starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures. It is used industrially for treating sewage, and its presence in food was unknown in 1990 when California listed the chemical as a cancer-causing substance under Proposition 65. That initiative, passed in 1986, requires companies to post warnings of exposure to substances that cause cancer or birth defects.

Swedish scientists were the first to detect acrylamide in food in a 2002 study. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is studying the chemical but has not imposed nationwide restrictions. The FDA has advised consumers that they can reduce the levels of acrylamide in fried potatoes by not over-browning them while cooking.

The settlement requires the potato chip producers to reduce acrylamide to 275 parts per billion in three years, a low enough level to avoid a Prop. 65 warning label. That amounts to a 20 percent reduction for Frito-Lay and an 87 percent reduction for Kettle Chips, Brown's office said. Little or no reduction will be needed for most Cape Cod chips, but one product, Cape Cod Robust Russets, will require a warning label, the attorney general said.

The companies also agreed to pay nearly $2 million in penalties and costs.

E-mail Bob Egelko at [email protected]/.

This article appeared on page B - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle


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Here is a report on Acrylamide by Medical Doctor Gabe Mirkin:

Research in four countries is suggesting that French fries and potato chips may be a leading cause of cancer in the Western world. Scientists at the meeting of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization are very concerned about the very high levels of acrylamide in the food supply. Acrylamide is a chemical used in the manufacture of plastics. It was first discovered to be present in certain foods cooked at high temperatures as the result of work announced in Sweden in April 2002.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have concluded that acrylamide causes cancer in laboratory animals, but there are no studies of the relationship between acrylamide and cancer in humans. However, solid research shows that acrylamide can cause nerve damage in humans, such as loss of feeling, loss muscle control and tingling.

The Swedish research and subsequent studies in Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, have found that acrylamide levels in certain starch-based foods, such as potato chips, french fries, cookies, cereals and bread, were well above the level given in the World Health Organization's Guideline Values for Drinking Water Quality.
Potato chips contain 500 times the maximum allowable amounts of acrylamide, and French fries sold in fast food chains contain more than 100 times the maximal allowable amounts. Tortilla chips, breakfast cereals, breads, cookies, crackers, and other bakery products contain smaller but significant amounts of acrylamide.

Acrylamide belongs to a class of chemicals that form advanced glycation end products, also known by their first letters as AGEs. They are a group of molecules that are formed when sugar attaches on protein when starchy foods such as potatoes and grains are cooked in the absence of water at very high temperatures. They do not form when food is cooked in water, and the higher the cooking temperature, the more acrylamide is formed.

Diabetics form advanced glycation products in their bodies because high blood sugar levels cause sugar to stick on the protein in cell membranes to form AGES, and it is these AGEs that cause the horrible side effects of diabetes, such as blindness, deafness, heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage. AGEs can damage every tissue in the body. HBA1C, the blood test doctors use to measure control of diabetes, actually measures this sugar bound to the protein on a person's cells. AGEs may also cause cancers, aging of tissues, and arteriosclerosis by raising cholesterol and causing clotting and are associated with loss of kidney function, Alzheimer's disease, thinning and wrinkling of skin and cataracts.

Exciting research from the University of Reading in England may eventually allow us to eat French fires and potato chips without being harmed by acrylamides (4). Deep frying at high temperature causes sugar in potatoes to stick to protein to form acrylamides. Donald Mottram showed that asparagine, only one of the 21 amino acids that form protein in humans, sticks to sugar. If this is true, it may be relatively simple to finding and use strains of potato with a low asparagine content, or genetically engineer potatoes or wheat that lacks asparagine. Then foods could be made from them that did not have asparagine available to form acrylamide.

Cooking with water prevents sugars from binding to proteins to form these poisonous chemicals. Since steamed and boiled vegetables, whole grains, beans and fruits are cooked with water, they do not contain significant amounts of advanced glycation products. This is another reason that you should eat your fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans -- raw or cooked with water. We no longer recommend eating potato chips or French fries as a source of salt when you exercise, and we will avoid eating them ourselves.

1) Margareta Tomquist, Stockholm University , pres conference, 4/25/02.

2) Helen Vlassara, at the Picower Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. presented to the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco June, 1996.

3) Raj, D Choudhury, TC Welbourne, , Levi. Advanced glycation end
products: A nephrologist's perspective. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 2000, Vol 35, Iss 3, pp 365-380.

4) Nature, Vol 419, pp 448-449


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Here is the FDA’s  Acrylamide Questions and Answers

What is acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide in food forms from sugars and an amino acid that are naturally present in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment.

Is acrylamide found anywhere else? Does it have industrial uses?

Acrylamide is produced industrially for use in products such as plastics, grouts, water treatment products, and cosmetics. Acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke.

Is acrylamide something new in food? When was acrylamide first detected in food?

Acrylamide has probably always been present in cooked foods. However, acrylamide was first detected in certain foods in April 2002.

Is there a risk from eating foods that contain acrylamide?

Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies where animals were exposed to acrylamide at very high doses. Acrylamide causes nerve damage in people exposed to very high levels at work. FDA has not yet determined the exact public health impact, if any, of acrylamide from the much lower levels found in foods. FDA is conducting research studies to determine whether acrylamide in food is a potential risk to human health.

How does acrylamide form in food?

Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) during certain types of high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking.

What kinds of cooking lead to acrylamide formation? In what foods?

High temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, or baking, is most likely to cause acrylamide formation. Boiling and steaming do not typically form acrylamide. Acrylamide is found mainly in foods made from plants, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee. Acrylamide does not form, or forms at lower levels, in dairy, meat, and fish products. Generally, acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures.

Should I stop eating foods that are fried, roasted, or baked?

No, all these foods are part of a regular diet. FDA's best advice for acrylamide and eating is that consumers adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

What is FDA doing about acrylamide in food?

FDA has initiated a broad range of activities on acrylamide since the discovery of acrylamide in food in April 2002. FDA accomplishments include the following

Developed an Action Plan outlining FDA’s goals and planned activities on acrylamide in food.

Convened two meetings of FDA’s Food Advisory Committee/Subcommittee for input on FDA’s acrylamide program.

Developed a sensitive method for measuring acrylamide in food and posted the method on FDA’s website.

Analyzed and posted acrylamide testing results for approximately 2600 food samples.

Launched a comprehensive research program to study acrylamide toxicology.

Published peer-reviewed research on acrylamide toxicology and detection methods.

Conducted research on ways to reduce acrylamide in food.

Prepared assessments of consumer exposure to acrylamide.

Posted Qs and As and consumer information on acrylamide on FDA’s website.

What FDA data are available on acrylamide levels in U.S. foods?

FDA has posted its current data on acrylamide in foods on the CFSAN web site at Acrylamide in Food.


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Suppressive Effect of Trehalose on Acrylamide Formation from Asparagine and Reducing Saccharides

Title: Suppressive Effect of Trehalose on Acrylamide Formation from Asparagine and Reducing Saccharides Author; OKU KAZUYUKI(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) KUROSE MAYUMI(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) OGAWA TOHRU(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) KUBOTA MICHIO(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) CHAEN HIROTO(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) FUKUDA SHIGEHARU(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) TSUJISAKA YOSHIO(Amase Inst., Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.) Journal Title; Biosci Biotechnol Biochem


Journal Code: G0021A
ISSN: 0916-8451
VOL. 69;NO.8;PAGE.1520-1526 (J-STAGE)(2005) Figure&Table&Reference;FIG.4, TBL.4, REF.9 Pub. Country;Japan Language;

English Abstract: The influence of saccharides on the formation of acrylamide (AcA) was investigated. The reducing saccharides reacted with asaparagine to form AcA, but the non-reducing saccharides, except sucrose, gave no AcA. AcA formation from a mixture containing glucose and asaparagaine was suppressed by the non-reducing saccharides, especially trehalose (76% suppression) and neotrehalose (75% suppression). Glucose is heat-degraded into pyruvaldehyde and 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural in the water system. The degradation products react with asparagines to generate AcA. Trehalose appears to inhibit not only the formation of these intermediates and asparagines for AcA, but also the AcA formation from these intermediates. (Author abst.)

Last Updated ( Aug 12, 2008 at 11:34 AM )