Do Baked Potatoes Contain Cancer Causing Acrylamide?

Does Baked Potatoes Contain Acrylamide?May 9, 2011 – The Doctors TV Show recently did a segment on dangerous chemicals in our food and revealed that potato chips contained dangerous amounts of the carcinogen, acrylamide. So much that by January 2012, potato chip makers must put a warning on the label, change the way they make potato chips or stop selling in California. Alise Cappel, Research Director of the Environmental Law Foundation said that all potato chips contain acrylamide.  But what about baked potatoes? Do they contain acrylamide?

Yes,  a baked potato can contain acrylamide.

The National Cancer Institute at The National Institutes of Health say that high-temperature cooking methods, such as frying, baking, or broiling, have been found to produce acrylamide in certain foods. These foods contain asparagine, an amino acid (a building block of protein) that is found in many vegetables, with higher concentrations in some varieties of potatoes.  Researchers in Europe and the United States have found these foods when heated at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit) in the presence of certain sugars, asparagine can form acrylamide. But, potato chips and french fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods.

The National Cancer Institute suggests ways of reducing exposure to dietary acrylamide.

  • boiling and microwaving appear less likely to produce acrylamide
  • blanching potatoes before frying
  • Decrease cooking time
  • postdrying (drying in a hot air oven after frying)
  • establish a healthy eating pattern of foods rich in high fiber grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Acrylamides are also found in cigarette smoke in significantly high levels so be sure to reduce your exposure, your loved ones and others to cigarette smoke.

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