Acrylamide in Coffee

April 02, 2018

Acrylamide in Coffee

A judge ruled on Thursday that coffee sellers in California should post warnings about a potentially cancer-causing chemical found in the beverage.

The chemical, acrylamide, is produced during the coffee bean roasting process, as well as when sugars and amino acids found in other foods are cooked at high temperatures. It’s one of 65 chemicals included in a California law that requires businesses to warn consumers if they may be exposed to substances associated with cancer, birth defects or other reproductive issues. While the decision — which at this point is just a preliminary ruling, and may still be challenged in court — relates specifically to coffee, consumers are actually exposed to acrylamide from numerous sources.

Acrylamide is a byproduct formed when sugars and amino acids naturally occurring in starchy foods, such as potatoes and cereal grains, are cooked at high temperatures, according to the American Cancer Society. Acrylamide is particularly likely to be produced when foods are fried, baked, broiled or roasted, according to the ACS. The chemical can be found in potato chips, french fries, baked goods, snack foods, breads and even some baby foods.

Acrylamide, which is also made during some industrial production processes, is also found in non-food sources such as cigarette smoke, caulk, food packaging and some adhesives, the ACS says.

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