People don’t know what happens when they eat overcooked and burnt foods. As result eating burnt food can lead to the intake of chemicals that can then eventually lead to cancer. Scientists and experts say that bread, chips and many other food should be cooked brown instead of them being burnt. It has been listed by FSA that this is classified as a ‘DANGER FOODS’
Breads, chips and other carbohydrates will contain starch. When this is cooked, fried or heated to high temperatures will produce Acrylamide. Its chemical name is known as: Prop-2-enamide which has a formula of C₃H₅NO. The main uses of Acrylamide is to make: paper, dyes and plastics. The buildings blocks or monomers of Acrylamide is Asparagine. During the heating of food a Maillard reaction takes place. A maillard reaction is when an amino acid and reducing sugars react together which gives food a brow colour and its taste. Alongside this reaction acrylamide can also be formed. Once this chemical is consumed it can enter the body and interact with the DNA causing harmful mutations which can lead to tumours. It is known to be a carcinogen. Acrylamide can also be used a neurotoxin in the body. Neurotoxins are toxins that can cause complete or partial destruction to nerve tissues.
However in some cases when digested acrylamide there is a P450 enzyme that can detoxify it by removing the toxic substances. Research and experiments have been conducted in laboratories on animals and humans to show the effects of acrylamide. However the effects in humans is still not clear and fully understood as of yet.For this reason food experts have set aside some tips of how to reduce the intake of acrylamide.
GO for gold - When frying, cooking or toasting food always cook them to a yellow or golden colour. This is when the production of acrylamide is less. Try and have a balanced and a healthier diet.
Always follow the cooking instructions on the packaging - There will also be advice on how to properly cook the meals to ensure that it prevents the formation of acrylamide.
Finally, never store potatoes in the fridge - Storing Potatoes in the fridges increases the sugar content by forming more sugars - Cold Sweetening. As a result when cooking it more acrylamide can be formed.
So next time when preparing foods you can understand why it is important to process them properly and not cause any problems like this.