In a press release dated 6 March 2019, BEUC (European Bureau of Consumer Unions) informs that new tests carried out by ten consumer organisations have shown that the protection measures put in place by the European Union against Acrylamide were not sufficient.
BEUC calls on the European Commission to:
– lower the current reference values.
– to implement new values on previously unregulated commodities, namely vegetable crisps.
The results of these studies are available at the attached link: https://www.beuc.eu/publications/beuc-x-2019-010_more_efforts_needed_to_protect_consumers_from_acrylamide_in_food.pdf
The analyses carried out included potato chips, vegetable chips, French fries, biscuits and wafers, breakfast cereals and biscuits for infants and young children.
As a reminder, Acrylamide is a substance formed from compounds naturally present in certain foodstuffs, in particular asparagine and reducing sugars such as glucose and fructose at temperatures above 120°C and under conditions of low humidity.
According to the EFSA opinion published in 2015, acrylamide has carcinogenic effects for all types of consumers.
Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 laying down mitigation measures to reduce the presence of acrylamide in food and reference levels has been applicable since 11 April 2018.
Although a large proportion of the results obtained meet the regulatory criteria, some food categories have a significant percentage of samples that exceed the reference values:
– 13.1% of Biscuits and Wafers samples.
– 13% of baby food samples.
– 7.7% of the chips.
– 6.3% of biscuits for infants and young children.
The most problematic case is that of biscuits and wafers because, although not identified as intended for infants and young children, they are products frequently consumed by children under 3 years of age.
In this study, 44 products in the “biscuits and waffles” category were identified as frequently consumed by children under 3 years of age and their acrylamide content was compared to the regulatory reference content for the “biscuits for infants and young children” category, i. e. 150 µg/kg. In this case, 63.6% of the samples were above the reference grade.
For the vegetable crisps category, 27 analyses were carried out and an acrylamide average of 1121 µg/kg was calculated, with a median value of 830 µg/kg. This is almost twice the median value for the potato chips tested and to date, no reference content has been set for this type of commodity.
Please note that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to carry out acrylamide analysis under COFRAC accreditation, the matrices concerned can be consulted via our COFRAC technical appendix N°1-1904 available in your customer area or on the COFRAC website.
For any technical, pricing and/or regulatory information, do not hesitate to contact us.