The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) annual update report on acrylamide levels in foods does not reveal any considerable change in the presence of the possible carcinogen in foods.
The report – which is the fourth annual report on acrylamide monitoring in food produced by EFSA since 2009 – was prepared by EFSA’s Dietary and Chemical Monitoring Unit using 13,000 data points on acrylamide levels in food.
EFSA revealed ‘downward trends’ in acrylamide levels in ‘processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children’ and in ‘non-potato based savoury snacks’ and ‘biscuits and rusks for infants and young children’.
On the other hand, it noted a rise in the ‘coffee and coffee substitutes’ category and in the sub-categories ‘crisp bread’, ‘instant coffee’ and ‘French fries from fresh potatoes’ – though for the latter this was not consistent across Europe.
An EFSA statement in 2005 noted that there may be a potential health concern with acrylamide which is known to be both carcinogenic and genotoxic.
Member States are requested to perform yearly monitoring of acrylamide levels and EFSA assesses these data for compilation in an annual report. However EFSA said that since 2008, the number of analytical results submitted has declined; and in the 2010 monitoring period only two-thirds of the minimum number of samples set by the European Commission per food category were submitted.