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Survey of Acrylamide and Furan in UK Retail Products 2010-11


<p>The 248 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.</p>

<p>Acrylamide analyses was carried out on 248 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 &amp; 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).</p>

<p>The number and range of products analysed for furan were increased for the 2010-2011 survey with 92 samples tested from Group 2, 7, 8 and 10.</p>

<p>The acrylamide and furan results from this UK survey have been sent to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for collation with other Member States' survey data, trend analysis within the EU and, in the case of furan, a risk assessment.</p>

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<p>Background: Process contaminants are chemical substances that are produced naturally in food during manufacturing or home-cooking. They are absent in the raw foods, or the raw materials used to make the food, and are only formed when components within the food or raw materials undergo chemical changes during processing. Acrylamide and furan may be formed at high temperatures during cooking, whether by manufacturers or consumers at home and both have the potential to increase the risk of cancer. This risk will increase with regular exposure to higher levels over a lifetime. Experts, including the Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation 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 be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). </p>