Acrylamide in food- EU establishes mitigation measures and benchmark levels
The EU Commission has adopted EU Reg. 2017/2158 establishing mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food.
Acrylamide forms mainly in baked or fried carbohydrate-rich foods where raw materials contain its precursors, such as cereals, potatoes and coffee beans. It is considered to potentially increase the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups.
Acrylamide is a contaminant and as such, it is a chemical hazard in the food chain.
Since acrylamide is present in a wide range of everyday foods, the current levels of dietary exposure to acrylamide across age groups indicate a concern with respect to its carcinogenic effects.This concern applies to all consumers, children being the most exposed age group on a body-weight basis.
The Commission has therefore established mitigation measures. Based on current scientific and technical knowledge, which identify food processing steps susceptible to the formation of acrylamide in foods and set out activities to reduce the levels of acrylamide in those foodstuffs, the measures have proven to result in lower levels of acrylamide without adversely affecting the quality and microbial safety of the products.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the measures, benchmarks have been set, and food business operators will be required to monitor the effectiveness of the measures through sampling and anaysis.
The Regulation shall apply from April 11, 2018.