Scorching your toast and potatoes could cause cancer, UK scientists say

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Image of burned toast by Alejandro Ascanio/EyeEm via Getty Images

Image of burned toast by Alejandro Ascanio/EyeEm via Getty Images

Scientists in the UK on Monday cautioned against cooking potatoes and toast to a blackened color, saying a by-product of the cooking process could cause cancer.

The by-product — acrylamide — is generated when food is cooked too long at high temperatures. Studies in rodents show exposure to the chemical compound acrylamide “poses a risk for several types of cancer,” according to the National Cancer Institute, but research on the effect on humans is incomplete.

The Food Standards Agency, a UK government entity, recommended avoiding browning starchy foods, and instead going for a light golden brown color.

A World Health Organization panel came to same conclusion, that acrylamide may pose a cancer risk, in 2002, and the Food and Drug Administration issued guidelines on how to reduce the chemical in foods in 2013.

 

The post Scorching your toast and potatoes could cause cancer, UK scientists say appeared first on PBS NewsHour.