Acrylamide. This is a common chemical caused by frying, bebecuing, roasting or grilling of beef, chicken, corn, or any food substance for that matter. Scientists warn that it this chemical is a carcinogen, that is, cancer-causing. It is believed to have potential of doubling the risk of cancer in women.
Acrylamide is commonly found in normally “cooked” foods such as bread, breakfast cereals, coffee, meat products and potatoes which have been fried, baked, roasted, grilled or barbecued.
In a study, researchers enrolled 120,000 people – half of whom were women, and established a direct association between consumption of food containing this chemical and the incidence of ovarian and womb cancer.
From the study, it was discovered that women who had more acrylamide were twice as likely to develop ovarian or womb cancer as those who ingested a smaller amount.
Actually, the higher amount of the chemical ingested by the women involved, was the equivalent to a single packet of crisps, half a pack of biscuits, or a portion of chips a day.
It has now been suggested that people should avoid eating burnt toast or golden brown chips because they contain higher levels of acrylamide.
People are also advised to stick to eating home-cooked meals, which contain much lower amounts of the chemical than processed products, fast food and restaurant meals.
The study generally supports nutritionists’ advice and policy, which already assumes that acrylamide has the potential to be a human carcinogen. Since acrylamide forms naturally in a wide variety of cooked foods, it is very difficult to have a healthy balanced diet that avoids it.
Barbecue grills are particularly problematic because of production of tiny soot particles that pollute the air and can aggravate heart and lung problems. Also, the grilling forms potentially carcinogenic compounds – Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, PAHs and Heterocyclic amines, HCAs.