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Manufacturers in the European Union (EU) are preparing for new legislation that will regulate the amount of acrylamide in their products for the first time.
The regulations, passed by the EU last year, will restrict the amount of acrylamide permissible in packaged foods and will force manufacturers to actively reduce the amount of acrylamide in their final products when it becomes a law tomorrow.
The EU has established ‘benchmark’ levels of acrylamide for various food products, ranging from 350 micrograms (μg) of acrylamide per kilogram for biscuits and cookies to 750μg per kilogram for potato crisps and 850μg per kilogram for instant soluble coffee.
The benchmark levels for foods specifically targeted towards children – like baby foods and rusks – are notably lower, reflecting widespread concern around the health implications of acrylamide.
Acrylamide is a proven carcinogen and poses severe health risks, especially for children, whose diets tend to be more heavily weighted towards bread, cereals and potato-based snacks than that of adults.