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Survey of Acrylamide and Furan in UK Retail Products 2011-13 (Ongoing)

Institutions
Premier Analytical Services
Start date
2011
End date
2014
Objective

The 300 UK retail product samples represented the 10 food groups as specified in Commission Recommendation (EU) No. 2010/307 on the monitoring of acrylamide in food.

Acrylamide analysis was carried out on 294 samples taken from:
  • Group 1 (French fries sold as ready to eat)
  • Group 2 (Potato crisps)
  • Group 3 (Pre-cooked French fries for home-cooking)
  • Group 4 (Soft bread)
  • Group 5 (Breakfast cereals)
  • Group 6 (Biscuits and crackers)
  • Group 7 (Coffee)
  • Group 8 (baby food other than processed cereal-based)
  • Group 9 (processed cereal baby food)
  • Group 10 (others e.g. popcorn, cakes, pastries and chocolate)

Furan analysis was carried out on 113 samples taken from Groups 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10.

The acrylamide and furan results from this survey form part of a longer term surveillance programme. They will be sent to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for collation with survey data from other Member States, trend analysis within the EU and, in the case of furan, a risk assessment.

More information

Background: This survey of process contaminants forms part of a current rolling programme due for completion in April 2014.

Process contaminants are chemical substances that are produced naturally in food during manufacturing or home-cooking. They are absent in the raw foods or raw materials used to make the food, and are only formed when components within the raw foods or materials undergo chemical changes during processing.

Acrylamide and furan may be formed at high temperatures during cooking, whether by manufacturers or consumers at home. Both substances have the potential to raise the risk of cancer, which will then increase with regular exposure to higher levels, over a lifetime.

Experts, including those from the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JEFCA), have concluded that current levels of dietary exposure to acrylamide and furan indicate a human health concern (FAO/WHO, 2010). The Agency considers that exposure to acrylamide and furan should follow the application of the ALARP principle and be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS142001
Categories
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Food Preparation and Handling
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Dioxins, Furans, PFCs, and PCBs