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Declaring war on acrylamide

02-May-2006

Letter to the Editor

Sir

The UK food and drink manufacturing industry takes the issue of acrylamide (Food Manufacture, April 2006, p28) very seriously and has been active, in collaboration with the authorities, to reduce exposure to acrylamide from processed food.

Your article does not reflect the extensive work that has, and continues to be, undertaken.

To give you an idea:

l More than 200 research projects have been initiated internationally to improve understanding of the formation of acrylamide in food, identify what can be done to reduce levels and clarify the possible risk to human health. The industry has mounted a research programme and shared information via CIAA (the Food and Drink Federation's European equivalent) to accelerate the implementation of steps to reduce levels in food.

l There is no single solution. CIAA has therefore developed a 'tool box' which summarises the reduction measures. It identifies 13 measures (tools) within four compartments - natural parameters, product composition, process conditions, and finished product characteristics. It allows manufacturers to evaluate the suitability of the tools for their products and their process/equipment.

l The development of a Codex code of practice on acrylamide draws on the approach used in the CIAA tool box.

l Considerable progress has already been made by the industry in reducing acrylamide levels in, for example, potato crisps (by 30-40%), potato chips (by 15%), and crispbread (by 75%).

Christine Welberry

Media & parliamentary relations manager

Food and Drink Federation