Friday, April 22, 2011

Alert on cancer chemical found in thousands of processed foods - 22nd Apr 2011

A chemical which causes cancer has been found in a huge range of foods including bread, crisps and baby food.

Scientists have identified high levels in thousands of cooked and processed products.

The substance, acrylamide, has been linked to several types of cancer including bowel, bladder and kidney, and is known to cause infertility and loss of muscle control.

Scientists have known since 2002 that the chemical exists in certain products and have urged the food industry to reduce levels.

But a major study by the European Union has confirmed that there are still large amounts in a range of items including chips, instant coffee, bread, biscuits, crisps, breakfast cereals and baby food.

Experts are now urging food producers to take stronger action, and are advising the public to cut down on processed food and eat as much fresh produce as possible.

Scientists do not know exactly what causes acrylamide to form but they believe it occurs as a result of a chemical process during baking, frying, grilling or toasting.

It appears to form when food is heated to above 120c. It is not found in uncooked or boiled food. Read More