Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285205

Title: Acrylamide in processed potato products

item Bethke, Paul
item BUSSAN, ALVIN - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2013
Publication Date: 5/14/2013
Citation: Bethke, P.C., Bussan, A.J. 2013. Acrylamide in processed potato products. American Journal of Potato Research. 90(5):403-424.

Interpretive Summary: Trace amounts of acrylamide were discovered in foods cooked at high temperatures in 2002. Health safety concerns were raised because of the potential for acrylamide to act as a toxin or carcinogen, especially at high concentrations. Because fried potato products have high amounts of acrylamide relative to other foods, the potato industry is interested in reducing the acrylamide content in chips, fries and other processed potato products. The chemistry of acrylamide formation and how different methods of cooking influence the acrylamide content of finished products is reviewed. The importance of variety selection, production management practices and potato storage conditions on acrylamide-forming potential of potato tubers is highlighted. Process methods with potential to reduce acrylamide in potato products are described. Research related to the safety of acrylamide in food is summarized. This review provides consumers, researchers and industry personnel including growers, packers, processors and marketers with a comprehensive picture of acrylamide in potato products. This will allow them to make informed decisions about the need to reduce acrylamide in potato products, and the ways that this can be accomplished.

Technical Abstract: Trace amounts of acrylamide are found in many foods cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamide in processed potato products is formed from reducing sugars and asparagine and is a product of the Maillard reaction. Processed potato products including fries and chips are relatively high in acrylamide compared with other foods and contribute substantially to dietary acrylamide. Acrylamide content in potato products depends strongly on process conditions, potato variety, field management, environmental conditions during tuber growth, and storage conditions. Numerous approaches have been described that could potentially reduce the acrylamide content of potato products, but many influence finished product sensory attributes and may be difficult to implement. Health concerns related to acrylamide in food center on its role as a potential carcinogen. Research using feeding studies with rodent models and epidemiological studies with humans are ongoing and are likely to provide guidance for acrylamide consumption in food.