Scientists evaluate acrylamide comments

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has met to discuss the results of a recent consultation on the contaminant acrylamide.

The consultation aimed to gain a wide range of scientific views on the substance, which can form in baked goods as a result of high temperature baking.

It plans to finalise its opinion on the substance in 2015, and says it will discuss further measures at EU level to reduce acrylamide levels in food as low as reasonably achievable.

The follow-up meeting was made up of members of national food safety agencies, academia, scientific advisory bodies and other members of the food industry.

Dr Diane Benford, chair of EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM), said: “[The] meeting has been useful for us to listen, discuss, explain and better understand the public consultation results. This will certainly help us to refine our risk assessment and provide clear scientific advice for risk managers to use in developing regulatory or other measures.”

“We may look to better explain our assessment of the possible health effects, especially in relation to studies involving humans. Further clarification of our dietary exposure estimation and the breakdown and reporting of food categories could also be helpful.”

The EFSA provisionally concluded that: “Acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups.”

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