Cari Maklumat Yang Berkaitan


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Cancer Chemical Found In Processed Foods

A chemical which causes cancer has been found in a huge range of foods including bread, crisps and baby food.

Researchers have identified high levels of the substance, acrylamide, in thousands of cooked and processed products.

It has been linked to several types of cancer including bowel, bladder and kidney, and is known to cause infertility and loss of muscle control.

Scientists have known since 2002 that the chemical exists in certain products and have urged the food industry to reduce levels.

But a major study by the European Union has confirmed that there are still large amounts in a range of items including chips, instant coffee, bread, biscuits, crisps, breakfast cereals and baby food.

Experts are now urging food producers to take stronger action, and are advising the public to cut down on processed food and eat as much fresh produce as possible.

Scientists do not know exactly what causes acrylamide to form but they believe it occurs as a result of a chemical process during baking, frying, grilling or toasting, when food is heated to above 120C. It is not found in uncooked or boiled food.

It is also manufactured for industry and used to make asphalt, glue, dye, paper, fabric and cosmetics as well as to remove impurities in drinking water.

The EU’s European Food Safety Authority examined 22 different food groups known to contain high levels of acrylamide in 23 countries, including Britain, and compared levels recorded in 2007 and 2009.

It found despite the warnings, levels had increased in instant coffee and crispbread and remained the same in almost all the other products. Levels had gone down only in crackers, baby biscuits and gingerbread. The report warns that voluntary measures by the food industry have had ‘limited success’ and concludes that further action is needed.

It concludes: “It would be desirable to reduce acrylamide levels further in food groups contributing the most to exposure, such as fried potatoes including French fries, soft bread, roasted coffee and biscuits.”

Dr Angelika Tritscher of the WHO said: “Acrylamide is clearly carcinogenic. It has been shown to cause cancer in animal studies and we have no reason to think that the same is not true for humans.

“We don’t know what the risk is and if we tried to quantify it, it would just be a guess which would lead to scaremongering. But it’s very important to reduce our exposure. It reinforces the importance of a healthy diet.”

- Gulf Times 23rd April 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment