Do Precooked French Fries Cause Cancer? Blame the acrylamide

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Pre-cooked and frozen chips, normally served in fast-food restaurants or pubs, but increasingly popular in supermarkets, could cause cancer.

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Le pre-cooked and frozen chips, normally served in fast food or in pubs, but increasingly widespread also in supermarkets, could cause the cancer.

This news is revealed by a recent study by the American Chemical Society which accuses French fries sold already sliced, dehydrated and partially fried, which need only a few minutes of cooking to be served fragrant and crunchy. And it is precisely this double cooking process that would involve a increased presence of carcinogenic chemicals.

Of all the components of these products, the dangerous one is theacrylamide, a very toxic substance that forms when elements rich in carbohydrates reach high temperatures. The production of acrylamide then is facilitated by the absence of water and by the presence of asparagine (an amino acid) and a reduced sugar (such as glucose or fructose contained mainly in potatoes, but also in caramelized foods).

“The process includes sorting the potatoes, cutting, adding sugar, drying, frying and freezing. - Professor Donald Mottram who coordinated the study explained to the Telegraph - All this, combined with the final cooking, gives the color, texture and flavor that consumers expect from French fries.

Acrylamide - added the professor - is formed naturally during the cooking of many food products. The formation of acrylamide in fried potatoes is inevitable ”.

And in the case of pre-cooked potatoes, where the frying is even double, the levels of acrylamide increase. This is why doctors recommend avoid eating fried and pre-cooked products, species if breaded with flour and breadcrumbsIn fact, carbohydrates are foods rich in starches that are more easily transformed into carcinogenic substances.



Not surprisingly, in recent months, theAmerican Chemical Association attempted to sensitize companies producing these foods to change the preparation process to reduce acrylamide levels.

Does this mean that all fried carbohydrates are carcinogenic?

Potentially yes, especially if some important precautions are not followed.

According to experts, for avoid raising the levels of dangerous substances in food, when we cook food (regardless of whether it is fried or roasted on the grill or in a pan) we should limit cooking times, To avoid eating parts that are too roasted or charred (such as over-toasted bruschetta or charred wood-fired pizza) and - in particular - when we fry, it would be advisable to choose a oil with a high smoke point, to change it often and never use butter!



Verdiana Amorosi

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