In this article Swedish scientists report finding “as much as 200 µg/kg [of acrylamide] in mashed potatoes,” while stating in a subsequent paragraph that boiling potatoes “appeared to generate none.” I am curious to know how they make mashed potatoes in Sweden. I always boil mine.

Paul Nelson
Houston, Texas

You state that boiled potatoes have no detectable acrylamide. Yet you also say that mashed potatoes (which are just boiled potatoes) have a significant amount of acrylamide. Does that mean there is something in the mashing process that also produces this carcinogen? As a potato lover, I’d like to know whether it’s safe to mash.

Wayne Wirwicz
Silver Spring, Md.

The data, as they stand, indicate that additional heating beyond boiling had been applied to the mashed potatoes or that heating might have been used in making dehydrated, reconstituted mashed potatoes. —J. Raloff