Acrylamide: How to take health risks seriously

As a chef you aim to make your customers as happy as possible. You serve delicious dishes, while keeping an eye on people’s health in general. Some health issues are on the European agenda. One of them is acrylamide. Let us explain how you can contribute to keeping the acrylamide levels in check.

Acrylamide is a substance which develops as a result of heating products with high starch levels above 120 degrees Celsius. Tests have shown that this substance is harmful for animals, and in large quantities also for us humans. Products that contain acrylamide are for example: fried potatoes and crisps, coffee, cereals, toasted bread, biscuits and crackers.

European regulations
Since acrylamide was discovered in food in 2002, large potato processing companies took measures to limit acrylamide levels in their products. In most European countries acrylamide levels in frozen and/or pre-fried potato products are way below the allowed norm. The European Committee set these standards on 19th July 2017 for fries and products made from potato powder, but also for bread, coffee, cookies and baby nutrition.  

Large quantities
Everything that leaves the Lamb Weston factories has been produced according to these regulations. However, that doesn’t rule out the chance of ending up with too much acrylamide in your fries. If you don’t fry in the proper way, you might still get levels of acrylamide that are above the standards that Brussels set. Don’t worry, when this happens in your kitchen once or twice it’s not a problem. But it could become one when you serve people large quantities of fries with high acrylamide levels. It’s simply unhealthy.

Tips for chefs
This is what you can do to avoid health risks in your restaurant concerning acrylamide:

  • always follow the instructions on the packaging
  • deep fry products at a maximum of 175 degrees Celsius
  • never fry products to a brown or dark colour, but aim for golden yellow
  • fry smaller portions for a shorter period of time
  • don’t put oven fries in a deep fryer, they contain more sugar and produce more acrylamide.  

This way acrylamide levels will never run into the danger zone. It’s not that difficult really.  Keep your customers happy, healthy and coming back for more!

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about this topic via info@lambweston.eu.