In the country alone, the business feeds around 3 billion euros per year. But what is hidden in the envelopes of French fries? An investigation by the ABR Food and Safety Study () reveals that half of the products on the market contain a toxic substance not reported on the label.
"This is theacrylamide and it is not indicated on the packaging because it is not an ingredient intentionally used by the manufacturers. It sometimes forms during the frying, as a consequence of chemical reactions involving sugars and amino acids (mainly free asparagine) subjected to high temperatures », explains Elga Baviera, biologist expert in hygiene and food safety of the ABR Study.
"Result? 50% of the potato chips in the bag have concentrations higher than the values indicated by the European guidelines of EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, according to which they must not exceed 1000 mcg / Kg », continues the expert in food safety.
Because it hurts
Several studies have shown that acrylamide can be neurotoxic and carcinogenic: «Already in 1994 the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) included the compound in group A2, that is, among the“ probable carcinogens ”.
Why? In the body, after ingestion, acrylamide is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and is then metabolized and excreted in the urine. Animal research has shown that it is distributed in all tissues, without excluding the fetus»Explains the biologist.
Choose the quality
«The advice is not to buy potato chips in an envelope rock bottom prices: serious companies guarantee scrupulous attention during all the steps of the production processes. And, in the case of acrylamide, the control of the operators is fundamental, because attention to times and to cooking temperatures they are essential to avoid the triggering of the toxic reaction.
The same goes for the choice of oil with which to fry and how often it is changed. To guarantee all this, therefore, neither costs nor the final price can be cut ”, concludes Elga Baviera.