A new Swedish analysis downplays the likelihood that people will develop cancer from eating foods naturally tainted with acrylamide, a building block of many plastics and an animal carcinogen.
Acrylamide made headlines last year when researchers reported that the compound routinely forms during high-temperature cooking, such as frying and baking, especially of potatoes, breads, and other starchy foods (SN: 8/24/02, p. 120: Cooking Up a Carcinogen). Four separate chemistry studies linked the creation of acrylamide to common flavor-enhancing reactions between certain amino acids and sugars (SN: 10/5/02, p. 213: Hot Spuds: Golden path to acrylamide in food).
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have now reanalyzed data from three other studies—ones involving patients with cancers in the large bowel, kidney, and bladder. When acrylamide has been consumed as part of the diet, "the areas where you'd firs