WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED, INHALED OR ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN. AFFECTS CENTRAL AND PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS AND REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. SUSPECT CANCER HAZARD. MAY CAUSE CANCER. Risk of cancer depends on level and duration of exposure. POSSIBLE BIRTH DEFECT HAZARD. MAY CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS BASED ON ANIMAL DATA. THERMALLY UNSTABLE. MAY POLYMERIZE EXPLOSIVELY IF HEATED TO THE MELTING POINT.
Acrylamide is a suspected human carcinogen, severe neurotoxin, and causes irritation of the eyes, skin (is readily absorbed), and respiratory tract. It is formed when foods are heated.
In July of 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration released the results of its latest research on the acrylamide content of common foods.
The top 20 foods by average acrylamide intake by the U.S. population are as follows:
- French Fries (made in restaurants)
- French Fries (oven baked)
- Potato Chips
- Breakfast Cereals
- Brewed Coffee
- Pies and Cakes
- Soft Bread
- Chile con Carne
- Corn Snacks
- Peanut Butter
- Breaded Chicken
- Soup Mix
Acrylamide tends to form when foods that are high in carbohydrates and/or an amino acid called asparagine are cooked at high temperatures. Cooking methods that tend to require high temperatures - like frying, roasting, and baking - are more likely to cause acrylamide formation in food. Non-cooked and boiled foods almost never contain detectable levels of acrylamide.
The top two food groups listed above - French fries and potato chips - are easily two of the most damaging foods to human health. Despite the creation of "healthy" varieties of French fries and potato chips, it's important to know that all French fries and potato chips that have been deep-fried in oil are heavily laced with acrylamide and pose a serious threat to one's health.