BBC programme finds bread and crisps DO contain carcinogenic chemicals but not to a 'harmful' level

Mail Online | 2/25/2019 | Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline
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Crispy potatoes and burnt toast could cause cancer and should be avoided, is what we have been told in recent years.

But whether the claims were true left food-lovers confused and experts in fierce debate ever since.

Series - BBC - Food - Truth - Scare

In the fourth series of BBC's Food: Truth or Scare, Gloria Hunniford and Chris Bavin aim to get to the bottom of the conflicting messages.

Testing some of the nation's favourite foods in a lab setting, they found that some foods do contain high levels of acrylamide - formed when starchy foods are cooked for long periods at a high temperature.

Effect - Line - Studies - Mice - Slices

But for it to have any worrying effect - in line with animal studies on mice - you would need to eat 160 slices of burnt toast a day.

Acrylamide is currently defined by the World Health Organization as 'probably carcinogenic to humans'.

Proof - Acrylamide - Intake - Precaution

This means that, while no definitive proof has been found that acrylamide is carcinogenic, we should limit our intake as a precaution.

An official warning from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) that burnt toast and roast potatoes could cause cancer left people panic-stricken in January 2017.

Views - Experts - Truth - Studies - Chemical

Their views left experts debating the truth, considering studies on the chemical have only been conducted on mice.

In the BBC show shown this morning, Hunniford sends off her own roast potatoes to be tested in a lab, alongside burnt toast and meat.

Findings - Acrylamide - Levels - Food - Foods

The findings are that acrylamide levels do rise dramatically the more food is cooked – particularly in starchy foods such as bread and potatoes.

Jonathan Griffin, lead scientist at Kent Scientific Services, revealed lightly toasted bread had levels of 72 micrograms of acrylamide per 2.2lbs (1kg) of food.

Mr - Griffin - Bread - Medium - Bread

Mr Griffin said lightly toasted bread is not high, and even medium toasted bread, where acrylamide levels had increased by 25 per cent or so to 93mg, were not...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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