Statement Acrylamide

What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a substance that naturally forms when starch-rich products are heated at high temperatures (higher than 120°C.) Examples of products that contain Acrylamide are fried potato products such as French fries and potato crisps, coffee, gingerbread, breakfast cereals, bread (especially toasted bread), biscuits and crackers. The higher the sugar content in these products, the greater the chance of the formation of Acrylamide.

What are the risks due to Acrylamide?

In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has thoroughly researched any possible risks due to the occurrence of Acrylamide. Tests have demonstrated that Acrylamide is harmful to animals. Despite the fact that research concerning the effect of Acrylamide on humans has been very limited until now, the experts think that on the basis of these tests, ingestion of Acrylamide by humans may also be harmful, and leads to an increased risk of cancer. We are carefully monitoring the developments concerning these studies and will take precautions, if necessary.  

What does the new legal framework concerning Acrylamide mean?

According to the European Commission, the levels of Acrylamide in foodstuffs are currently too high. From April 11th, 2018 onwards, new regulations are in force that are aimed at reducing these levels. These regulations apply to all catering businesses and food producers. With regard to French fries, the content of Acrylamide may not surpass 500 micrograms per kilogram.

Does Farm Frites meet the criteria that are currently stated in the legal regulations of the EU?

Farm Frites already complied with the new standards to a very large extent: we completely endorse the new European standards. Our affairs are in order and we are on the market with potato products that are well within the so-called benchmark levels (BML).

How does Farm Frites minimise any risks caused by Acrylamide?

  • We only use potatoes with a low sugar concentration for our products.
  • When potatoes are stored at too low temperatures, the sugar content greatly increases. This results in a more rapid formation of Acrylamide, when the potatoes are baked or fried. Farm Frites stores its potatoes under well-controlled conditions in order to keep the formation of sugar under control.  
  • We have a very strict selection policy ‘at the gate’: all the potato shipments are rigorously checked for colour defects and other types of defects, before entering the plants.
  • During the production process, the whole potatoes are washed, and then the cut fries are blanched. In this process, the sugar is mostly extracted from the potatoes. This is the most efficient method of reducing the sugar content as much as possible.

 What can I myself do to avoid the risks of Acrylamide?

It is almost impossible to completely avoid any risks concerning Acrylamide. But carefully following the instructions for preparing and frying the potatoes will strongly reduce the levels of Acrylamide.

The frying instructions on all the Farm Frites packages are verified by us on a daily basis, during production checks. We are 100% convinced that our French fries have the right texture and are tasty, crispy, and beautiful in colour, provided the frying instructions on the package are followed. High-quality products are our greatest asset. That is why we are continuously improving every single phase of the production process. We undertake immediate action if we detect even the smallest sign that any adjustments need to be made to the process with regard to crispiness, texture, taste, or colour.

Nevertheless, Farm Frites products will always be semi-finished products. That is why we think it is important to inform our end users about the frying process. We want everyone to enjoy perfectly fried French fries, without worrying about anything!

That is why we regularly organise training course at Farm Frites, in order to assist and advise our customers as much as possible. For extra tips and information, our customers and end users can check our 'golden frying rules’ or visit the website, an initiative by EUPPA.


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