On 19 July 2017, Member States representatives voted in favour of European Commission’s proposal to reduce the presence of acrylamide in food.

Acrylamide is a carcinogenic substance that appears in food during high temperature processing, such as frying, roasting and baking. This substance forms from naturally present free asparagine and sugars, particularly in potato-based products, cereal-based products, coffee and coffee substitutes.

The presence of acrylamide in food was detected in 2002. In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed that acrylamide is a carcinogenic substance and that current levels of dietary exposure to acrylamide indicate a concern. Following EFSA’s opinion, and considering that voluntary mitigation measures by Member States to reduce the presence of acrylamide in foods varied widely, the Commission started discussions with Member States’ authorities which ended with a favourable vote for the above mentioned proposal.

Before the final adoption by the Commission, the text of the proposal will be sent to the Council and the European Parliament, which will have three months to examine it.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, stated that: “Today we took an important step in protecting the health and well-being of citizens. The new regulation will not only help to reduce the presence of this carcinogenic substance but also will help raise awareness on how to avoid the exposure to it that oftentimes comes from home-cooking.”

Further information is available at the following LINK.