What is acrylamide and why can it cause cancer?

Acrylamide is a chemical that has been recognized in recent times that it can be dangerous in the production of cancer. We find this substance in foods that we consume every day such as coffee and French fries . Let’s see what acrylamide really is, how dangerous this substance is, how it is produced and in what foods it is usually present.

What is acrylamide?

This substance can be formed in many different ways. The most common is when food is cooked or processed at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius . It is at that precise moment when the sugars of the foods, like the starch in the potato or in the cereals, and the fructose; Together with proteins, they make a reaction generated by heat, giving rise to this substance, acrylamide.

It has been shown that the more heat a food is exposed to and the less humidity it has, the greater the acrylamide present in the food. It is for this reason that there are many foods that we consume in which acrylamide is found. Thus, it is not surprising that we have been consuming this substance in various products for many years. However, until now it was not known that this substance had a close relationship with cancer.

What foods contain the highest amount of acrylamide?

In all foods that are exposed to temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius, they are susceptible to generating this substance. However, foods that are richer in starch are those with the highest levels when roasted and fried . For this reason, coffee has been one of the foods that has been put more in the spotlight, because in its roasting process it generates a high content of acrylamide.

Acrilamida en café

On April 11 of this year, a regulation was approved by the European Commission to implement a series of measures, with the aim of reducing the amount of acrylamide in foods such as coffee, French fries, cookies, biscuits and even jars for babies.

Can acrylamide cause cancer?

This substance has been found to be linked to cancer, but how dangerous is this substance? You do not need to be alarmed by this news, the measures that are currently being taken with respect to this substance are above all preventive . This substance has been shown to be carcinogenic in high doses in laboratory mice, but as Ricardo Cubedo, oncologist at the IOB Institute of Oncology in Madrid, tells us: no one has been able to demonstrate that the acrylamide that reaches humans through diet has an impact on cancer

Do not be afraid, since as we have said it is a precautionary measure . Since it has not been shown in people to have these carcinogenic effects, and it is only “likely”. Furthermore, according to the European Commission, it is easy to reduce in 10% of cases.