How to cook your french fries without a whopping dose of acrylamide

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Some processed; baked foods contain a cancer causing chemical known as acrylamide that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking action to have removed from our food. Other foods form the cancer causing agent because of the way we cook. Why you don't want acrylamide in your food.


Scientists discovered acrylamide in 2002 that lurks in our food. Animal studies show the chemical is a possible carcinogen that might translate to the same health risk for humans. The question is can you still enjoy french fries without a side of acrylamide. Let's face it. People love french fries.

Some cancers associated with the chemical include prostate, brain, breast, colon, rectal, bladder and endometrial cancer. No definite link to the chemical and human cancer has yet been found.

Now the food industry is working with the FDA to learn more about the health hazards of acrylamide in humans. But those studies can take years.

Acrylamide isn't just in our food

Until more studies are done, the recommendation is to try to avoid the substance that forms when foods are cooked at temperatures above 120 degrees F.

It isn't just cancer that is a concern and acrylamide isn't just in our food.

We're exposed to the chemical from plastics, adhesives and caulking and it's also in our drinking water. If you smoke you're inhaling acrylamide. The chemical is also linked to nerve damage in animal studies.

What foods should you avoid?


Some of our favorite foods have acrylamide and include:

  • Coffee
  • Potato chips
  • French fries
  • Burnt foods
  • Fried foods
  • Cereal
  • Baked goods
  • Grilled meats and vegetables

Can you still eat french fries?

The answer is yes.

If you want to eat potato chips or french fries occasionally there is no current evidence absolutely showing they will cause cancer.

But the recommendation is to eat the foods sparingly and make them part of an otherwise healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables.

One of the best ways to enjoy french fries and minimize acrylamide exposure is to pay attention to the temperature of your cooking oil, according to Health Canada. Cook your french fries to a light golden brown color no higher than 350 degrees F for frying and 230 degrees when baking.

Washing and soaking your potatoes before baking or frying can also reduce the amount of the chemical that forms during the cooking process.

If you burn your toast, brownies or other baked goods, remove the crust and edges to minimize the health risks. A general rule of thumb is to toast your bread lightly.

You really don't want acryalmide in your food. Canada and Europe and now the U. S. is taking action to help keep humans safe from the potential health hazards of the chemical. The good news is you really can still enjoy an occasional serving of french fries as part of an otherwise healthy balanced diet and minimize acryalmide by paying attention to how you cook them.



Well Isn't that a fine how do you do? My daughter and I are in BIG trouble. I love coffee and she lives for McD's French fries. Sigh....