Acrylamide is a chemical that appears when plant-based foods are baked, fried, roasted or toasted. This is a natural chemical process that occurs when foods are prepared either in the factory, or the home. Acrylamide has been identified in a wide range of foods including bread, crispbreads, fried potatoes, chips, fried meat and fish, biscuits, coffee, crisps and breakfast cereals.
UB recognises the concern over acrylamide in foods since research was published in 2002 showing that frying and baking produces acrylamide in a wide range of food, including biscuits and snacks. UB has conducted continual in-house testing and research to try to find a solution for reducing acrylamide in biscuits and snacks.
UB has been testing and applying approaches to reduce levels of acrylamide through working with universities and conducting its own research, including projects with the European food industry. Not all approaches reduce levels of acrylamide significantly, or are practical in everyday use. UB is continuing to research ways to minimise the levels of acrylamide whilst maintaining the quality of its products and meeting consumer expectations.
Whilst it is necessary to learn more about acrylamide and the many other substances in the foods we eat, it is important to keep any concerns in perspective. As acrylamide is formed in food by common cooking practices, it is likely that people have been exposed to acrylamide via their diet for thousands of years. According to a recommendation from the WHO, choosing a balanced and varied diet, and avoiding overcooking food, will contribute to further reducing acrylamide levels.