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Parliamentary questions
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27 March 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Ilhan Kyuchyuk
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Acrylamide in food products

Acrylamide is a chemical that forms naturally in starch-rich foods such as potatoes or cereal products when they are fried or baked at temperatures over 120 °C. It is created by the reaction between free sugars, such as fructose, for example, and the amino acid asparagine. Research shows that acrylamide causes cancer in animals. Scientists believe that this chemical may also have a carcinogenic effect in people of all ages.

The UN has classified it a ‘probably carcinogenic’ Group 2A agent. Besides this, acrylamide can trigger diseases of the nervous system. In 2015, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) announced that acrylamide in food was a public health concern.

According to the ‘Bulgarian National Association Active Consumers’, consumers are exposed to acrylamide when consuming industrially-manufactured bread, crisps, chips, coffee and a range of cakes and biscuits. Although crisps made from carrots, beetroot and parsnips are perceived to be healthier than potato crisps, tests have revealed them to contain almost twice the amount of acrylamide.

Does the Commission have information on the acrylamide content of food products and the effect of the chemical on the human body?

Is it planning to establish reference levels of acrylamide for vegetable crisps and other products containing acrylamide? 

Original language of question: BG
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