Saturday, 31 March 2018

Wake Up and Smell the Acrylamide?


There has been a frenzied debate about a Californian judge ruling that coffee, because of its acrylamide content, should carry additional health warnings (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/30/coffee-cancer-warning-health-california-new-yorkers-response). Acrylamides are produced when starchy foods undergo prolonged 'cooking' at high temperatures and are consequently found in foods like roasted potatoes; crisps; biscuits; cereals and toast. Small amounts of acrylamides are present in coffee and these chemicals have been shown to be mutagenic (cancer causing) in animal studies (the jury appears to still be out in terms of their effects in humans). The judge apparently reached his judgement in spite of other studies showing that coffee had clinically beneficial effects on cancer and heart disease rates. I personally feel (like some New Yorkers) that there is no such thing as totally 'safe' ingestion of foods. The only sensible response is, where there is doubt, to take things in in moderation. 

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