Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally forms in starchy food products during high-temperature cooking, including frying, baking, roasting and also industrial processing, at +120 °C and low moisture. The main chemical process that causes this is known as the Maillard Reaction; it is the same reaction that ‘browns’ food and affects its taste. Acrylamide forms from sugars and amino acids (mainly one called asparagine) that are naturally present in many foods. Acrylamide is found in products such as potato crisps, chips, bread, biscuits and coffee. It was first detected in foods in April 2002 although it is likely that it has been present in food since cooking began.
Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 of 20 November 2017 establishing mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food
Monitoring Recommendation: Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/1888 of 7 November 2019 on the monitoring of the presence of acrylamide in certain foods
Sampling & Analysis Regulation: Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158
Available EU guidance documents:
- Guidance on the implementation of Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 establishing mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food
- FSAI Acrylamide Q and As
- EFSA Information sheet on acrylamide (free PDF publication)
- EU Commission Information on Acrylamide
- Food Drink Europe Toolbox
- FSAI Safe Catering Pack section on acrylamide
- FSAI factsheet about Acrylamide in Food (free PDF publication)
Increased Control Measures: For potentially applicable emergency measures and temporary increased controls, please see the section on Imports.