From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Chemicals (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Chemicals, a daughter project of WikiProject Chemistry, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of chemicals. To participate, help improve this article or visit the project page for details on the project.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Medicine (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Medicine, which recommends that medicine-related articles follow the Manual of Style for medicine-related articles and that biomedical information in any article use high-quality medical sources. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

health risk[edit]

Also, If Most of our acrylamides come from coffee, than why has there been no demonstrable link between coffee and cancers? In fact, a study conducted in Japan on consumption of 2 cups non-decaf coffee per day found a nearly 50% reduction in liver cancers over the control group.

Are our foodstuffs such as cows, being tested for cancer before being sold?

IANAD (I Am Not A Doctor), but can cancer spread via foodstuffs that way? I don't believe it can? - Jugalator 01:27, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

Is Acrylamide a neurotoxin??? AFAIK, it is a neurotoxin. (I have been taught of this since I learnt how to cast SDS-PAGE Gel.) --Herbal Lemon 16:55, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I've updated the article with more information about direct acrylamide exposure, and the negative results from recent cancer research. The former may answer your question somewhat better than before. :-) After doing that research, yes, it seems like it has effects similar to a neurotoxin in very large doses to me, as among others it can cause nausea, slurred speech, and paresthesia (disorders in your nervous system). - Jugalator 01:27, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

It's a neurotoxin - my biochem lecturer spilt some on his hand once and it was numb for over a week. Don't know how it works but I believe it's worth wearing gloves when preparing polyacrylamide gels. Meconium 01:01, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

So, uh, how is it that the article states that the amount of acrylamide found in food is safe, but then many of the "external links" to newssites state that it is not? 01:35, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree that this article is too complacent about the possible cancer risk from acrylamides. (Aside - research may not have found a differential consumption for people with/without cancer because everyone is already stuffed to the gills with it. ) droid

I had added some additional information about acrylamide in the diet and adjusted the article to give a more balanced view of the possible dangers (I guess that perhaps someone with a business interest in selling fried or baked food may have been trying to gloss over the potential dangers?). And by the way - there are many other food dangers in commonly eaten foods - eg. carcinogens in herbs and spices, and especially in nitrites (or is it nitrates?) used to preserve meat. I read a book about this recently, but have, er, forgotten what it is called. I wish someone would write an article on food risks if there is not one already. droid.

I have re-instated the improved version of the page after someone changed it back without explaination. The new version is the same as the version I found but has more information about acrylamides from food and cooking, gives a more balanced and fairer treatment of the possible health dangers (as the above user comments, the texts glossing over of the potential dangers was contradicted by the content of the links), and has one additional link. I am a post-graduate who has studied the dietry issues for a long time, so I think I know what I'm writing about. [Then you should know how to properly cite the sources of your information. Individual claims should refer to footnotes or annotated with an inline citation. A collection of links at the end is not helpful by itself. Note: I have not made any changes to the article; that was someone else.] I would appreciate it if the person who changed it back could provide an intelligent and rational justification for doing so. Thanks. droid.

The change was mine, and the change involved ONLY wikilinking some terms and specifying the content of compensatory anticancer chemicals in coffee (see the diff). I reinstated that version. What else did I change, according to you? --Shaddack 13:46, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Hello, I updated the section on cancer, and then adding a reference section created a table of contents, and as it was kinda weird having a toc in the lower third of the page I had to add other titles ... please adjust if you have a better idea Christian.B 02:58, 5 January 2007 (UTC) -- 10:45, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The part about "isn't coffee boiled?" bothers me. I don't think that it takes into account the roasting process which, because of the high roasting temperatures, could produce acrylamides. So coffee beans that had not been brewed would show presence of acrylamides upon analysis. However, could the process of brewing change the structure so that acrylamides are no longer present in brewed coffee? This needs research.Amber r07 (talk) 17:38, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Next, California lawyers are going to go after parents, bakers, coffee drinkers, olive makers, dried fruit and prune juice makers everywhere. You too will get sued for millions of dollars. Why? Because a very small something in the food that people have been making and eating for thousands of years has been found to cause cancer in rats when congested in very high levels 'by itself' for months on end. (talk) 17:07, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Seriously? The above statement is ridiculous. There is no evidence CA lawyers will sue any "users" of products! Also, the statement "because a very small something in the food that people have been making and eating for thousands of years..." is both incorrect and deceptive. First, deceptive by implying that it is somehow less harmful with the words "a very small amount". Second, incorrect by implying what we ingest in the past 10 years is remotely similar to what humans ingested "for thousands of years"...The article includes the statement: "Acrylamide may be a natural decay product of the polyacrylamide used as a thickening agent in some commercial herbicides." I don't think synthetic chemical fertilizers were around one hundred years ago, much less one thousand. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:11, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

SMILES inconsistency[edit]

I'm not a chemist. It's disconcerting to me that the SMILES string in the main text differs than the one in the sidebar overview. Is this due to discrepancy, or non-canonical notation? MaxEnt 23:25, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

It's simply that the molecule can be notated in more than one way, similar to how comounds can have more than one IUPAC name depending on where you start. A species is in brackets to show that its a self contained group, anything after the brackets is attached to the atom before them. While I'm sure one or the other is deprecated, theyre both comprehensible. GeeJo (t)(c) • 13:35, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

More possible content[edit]

Long article about Acrylamide in food - havnt had time to read all of it.

Via Google News: (subscription) Enzyme cuts out acrylamide (subscription), UK - 30 Aug 2006 ... Acrylamide is produced by the Maillard reaction — the chemical process by which carbohydrates transform, under heat, to golden-brown deliciousness. ... from

“I estimate that acrylamide causes several thousand cancers per year in Americans,” said Clark University research Professor Dale Hattis. Hattis, an expert in risk analysis, based his estimate on standard EPA projections of risks from animal studies and limited sampling of acrylamide levels in Swedish and American foods. from

When smoking was first identified as being carcinogenic, some people scoffed at it being dangerous, and I imagine a few journalists would write reassuring articles about how it wasnt particularly dangerous, or accuse others of scaremongering. I wonder if we're at that stage with acrylamide now.

I would like to have clarified the connection with the Maillard reaction. And the article currently claims acrylamide is produced in two ways in food - by browning, and by prunes (which are dried - and hence browned - plums) and olives (which are processed to remove the bitter taste of raw olives) - which two chemical reactions are relevant here?

Doctors web page that I am working on indicates that this cancer causing agent is also found in corn chips under the same heating / frying issue. Helen Pensanti, MD's TV Shownotes:

I am not a scientist, but can follow most of the information. I am very confused by a lot of seemingly contradictory statements. The article states: "Though researchers are still unsure of the precise mechanisms by which acrylamide forms in foods, many[12] believe it is a byproduct of the Maillard reaction. In fried or baked goods, acrylamide may be produced by the reaction between asparagine and reducing sugars (fructose, glucose, etc.) or reactive carbonyls at temperatures above 120 °C (248 °F)." And then goes on to state farther down: "On August 1, 2008, four food manufacturers – H.J. Heinz Co., Frito-Lay, Kettle Foods Inc., and Lance Inc. – agreed to reduce levels of acrylamide in their products (such as potato chips and French fries) over a three-year period…" Okay, so what I'm reading is they are not completely sure how this ends up in food, but it may be part of this Maillard reaction which sounds natural. However, is it that a natural browning reaction is creating carcinogens BECAUSE the food has somehow absorbed this byproduct of fertilizer and industry??? In other words, would browning have caused this 2000 years ago before we were creating this decay product of herbicides? Since “Acrylamide is prepared on an industrial scale by the hydrolysis of acrylonitrile by nitrile hydratase.” Is this just a byproduct of modern industry that is somehow contaminating food, but, in the case of potatoes, not showing up until the food is heated? On the one hand, the article sounds almost like this is some natural reaction during browning, but then goes on to say that those manufacturers agreed to REDUCE levels of acrylamide in their products. HOW??? The main question the article does NOT answer is HOW can these levels be reduced? Also, a statement saying there is less danger in home prepared foods than industrial prepared foods… yet there were statements relating the danger to the heat level. I make homemade french fries at 375-425 degrees… certainly above 248. How can the claim be made that home preparation is safer when no correlation to temperature is made? HOW or WHY is home preparation safer??? I appreciate the information in the article, but some glaring questions remain to be answered. (talk) 03:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC) mmazzi

In response to the above:

"Though researchers are still unsure of the precise mechanisms by which acrylamide forms in foods, many[12] believe it is a byproduct of the Maillard reaction."

I actually think that's quite weak wording and could be revised. Maillard reaction is THE main source of acrylamide formation where it is found in food and its formation is well described. There are a handful of other formation pathways that have been described, and there is also a very small perecentage of acrylamide formation food in some foods which cannot be accounted for by the Maillard or these formation methods. However, breakdown of fertilisers doesn't account for the levels found in products.

" it that a natural browning reaction is creating carcinogens BECAUSE the food has somehow absorbed this byproduct of fertilizer and industry???". "Is this just a byproduct of modern industry that is somehow contaminating food, but, in the case of potatoes, not showing up until the food is heated?" No, not at all. This is a natural occurrence related to high temperatures(cooking) in the presence of reducing sugars and amino acids in the raw material and is UNRELATED to the commercial production of acrylamide or even breakdown or fertilisers. If you test a raw potato you won't detect acrylamide in it, but it will be present at some level if for example you roasted that same potato. '...manufacturers agreed to REDUCE levels of acrylamide in their products..' Once acrylamide had been found in foods and the main formation mechanism had been identified manufacturers were able to develop various techniques to reduce average levels. These are available to view in the FoodDrinkEurope Acrylamide Toolbox (google it). However every product is different and different tools need to be applied to reduce levels. Manufacturers have to trial different tools to work out what is best for their own products. Examples would be lowering cooking temperatures and times or perhaps remove reducing sugars from the raw materials. Any agreement to reduce levels is probably based upon theoretical reduction levels from a baseline, and based upon mitigation techniques that were known at the time. The last part : "...statement saying there is less danger in home prepared foods than industrial prepared foods… yet there were statements relating the danger to the heat level. I make homemade French fries at 375-425 degrees… certainly above 248. How can the claim be made that home preparation is safer when no correlation to temperature is made? HOW or WHY is home preparation safer???..."

I don't know who wrote that home preparation is safer. Quite frankly there is no evidence for that. The varieties of potato that a French fry manufacturer will use are specific for French fry production. They are chosen because of their taste, appearance, the fact that they are resistant to certain pests and diseases, and because they have good yields. Most importantly they choose varieties based upon low sugar. These potatoes will be carefully stored at the right temperature to avoid increases in sugar over time and will undergo mitigation techniques in the factory.

By contrast most people will make their own French fries with whatever potatoes are to hand, and won't necessarily know for example whether the variety has high sugar levels or whether they have been stored correctly.

Ultimately the most important step is the cooking step. If you are cooking the fries at home (whether they are a frozen French fry or fresh home-made) then you should look at the colour and ensure that they are no more than a light golden colour. The colour level has a strong correlation to sugar levels and therefore ultimately to acrylamide levels. If you make homemade fries which are dark they will almost certainly contain more acrylamide than factory fries cooked to a lighter colour. Most consumers aren't making their own fries - they buy in ready-made product - same with coffee, bread, cakes, biscuits and chips etc and therefore the emphasis has correctly been on manufacturers to control as much as possible at their factories but if someone is making all these products at home they are almost certainly consuming much higher levels.

Sleepysod (talk) 15:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Correction of the structure image for Acrylamide[edit]

The correct structure for Acrylamide should show as -CONH2 (rather than CONH) - please help edit.

Regards Mehtapm 11:34, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

The first paragaph of the 'cancer link' chapter contains a lot of weasel words: 'Some sources claim', 'accounts for a significant number', 'no consensus among the scientific and medical community', 'actively researched and investigated by government bodies', 'several different countries', 'Some research'. this should be clarified or removed. Update: paragaph removed.Sciencefact 00:04, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

ambiguity in intro[edit]

What does 'Acrylamide is incompatible with' in the initial paragraph mean? How & why is it incompatible unless this is obvious or excplained it prob shouldn't be there esp in the intro --Nate1481 11:09, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I am also dissatisfied with the intro. It needs a heavier usage of the inverted pyramid. The health effects need at least a mention, especially since the research gets mentioned without any context given until well down the article. It would be better if the Swedish research were moved down-article and the context given first.-- 11:31, 17 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Acrylamide in Olives[edit]

Has anyone a reference for this claim ? Nothing is said about this in the article on Olives.

Ditto prunes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:26, 25 February 2007 (UTC).

UK Food Standards Agency report on acrylamide - includes olives Sleepysod (talk) 15:06, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Acrylamide in Potatoes[edit]

How does the storage-temperature issue tie in with the commonly used frozen potatoes ? One suspects that once freezing takes place, the fructose formation is stalled, but what are the facts ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:49, 25 February 2007 (UTC).

Non-thermal decomposition[edit]

Does anyone have a reference to the non-thermal decomposition producing dimethylamine? I don't see any good mechanism for this. If non-thermal means hydrolysis, the product should be ammonia, which I've changed the article to say. ChemGardener 19:32, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Yep, it DOES cause cancer says EU[edit]

See for example this article Its late at night for me, no time to do anything more tonight. 01:35, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

IUPAC name[edit]

Two different options currently given by the article. This can't be right. —DIV ( (talk) 09:24, 28 December 2007 (UTC))

For further confusion see IUPAC amide nomenclature and amide naming conventions. By the way, I like the option in the table better. —DIV ( (talk) 09:35, 28 December 2007 (UTC))


I find the following sentence somewhat confused: "they found the chemical in starchy foods, such as potato chips, French fries, and bread that had been heated (production of acrylamide in the heating process was shown to be temperature-dependent).[2] It was not found in food that had been boiled[2][3] or in foods that were not heated" Particularly I don't understand what is meant by heating. All of the foods given as examples have been cooked/heated, so perhaps better wording would be: "in fried and baked goods such as potato chips, French fries, and bread." Also, boiling is a form of heating, and hence the second sentence does not really make sense as a continuation from the first. Perhaps better wording would be: "Neither boiled nor cooked foods were found to contain acrylamide."Jimjamjak (talk) 08:55, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I read somewhere that acrylamide is not formed at temperatures up to a little beyond boiling point. Cannot recall the reference. Frying, baking, and boiling are all ways of cooking food; but cooking by boiling does not produce acrylamide. (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Acrylamide in milk[edit]

If you have something for this teme please you subscribe, thank you.

Imbalance in article[edit]

This article seems to be extremely imbalanced. 95% of the content is now about trace amounts of acrylamide found in food and the health effects. Yet there is almost no information on the synthesis of acrylamide, its industrial uses, or its toxicity and carcinogenicity in worker-exposure doses (which has been well known for several decades). If nothing else, the section on toxicity in food needs cleaning up and organising. -Kieran (talk) 16:52, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

The section entitled "Toxicity and carcinogenicity" has no mention of carcinogenicity within the section, just the title, though there are various passages throughout the article related to carcinogenicity. I get the impression the facts mentioned in this article need to be better organized as well, this way it will be possible to add more facts without the article becoming overloaded. Encyclopedias mustn't oversimplify but they differ from text books in that they must allow a layperson to find all the facts needed to understand something specific without having to look through every technical detail in order to find it, structure is very important in complex subjects where more and more background knowledge is needed. (talk) 00:04, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

60% increase in kidney cancer[edit]

The French fries article says "A 13 year long observation performed by the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 120,000 subjects between 55 and 70, has shown that increased intake of acrylamide (formed when potatoes are baked or fried) is correlated with a 60% higher rate of kidney cancer." ""Frieten zijn nu officieel kankerverwekkend". University of Maastricht Holland. Retrieved 8 November 2010."

Be interested to see something about this in english, particularly the original paper.

And, although it may be personal research or speculation, perhaps people's diets are sufficiently saturated with acrylamide so that a little more or less has effects that are difficult to detect, rather as the Romans were said to have shortened lives due to taking in lead from lead-lined drinking-vessels, water pipes, and lead additives to wine. (talk) 11:21, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

INSTANT Coffee[edit]

There is no info about instant coffee in this article.

If you Google or PudMed "instant coffee" Acrylamide you will find it contains MUCH more Acrylamide than ordinary coffee.

Can you find any comparison of different INSTANT coffee brands? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ee1518 (talkcontribs) 07:08, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

You can try adding the informationHardkhora (talk) 17:07, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Thoughts About Article Status[edit]

Can we remove the

? It seems the article has grown a lot since then.

Thoughts?Hardkhora (talk) 17:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Opinions of health organizations[edit]

“In February 2009, Health Canada …. Currently, they are collecting information on the properties and prevalence of acrylamide in order to make their assessment.”

Once again we have a time-based statement (currently ...) with no reference to the time itself. This is a trap frequently fallen into in Wikipedia and one of which contributors should be aware by now. The statement made sense at the time it was written, but loses all meaning now without a date being attached. Dawright12 (talk) 10:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

It's not so bad since the consultation referenced is still ongoing (until September 20 2014) - but yeah "currently" is a hostage to fortune; for time-based statements the asof template is safer. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:52, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Acrylamide[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Acrylamide's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "PGCH":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 04:41, 22 April 2015 (UTC)