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Acrylamide in coffee- are you getting too much?

A Californian judge ruled last month that Starbuck and other businesses that serve coffee now have to include warnings on their products saying that it contains a substance that may cause cancer.

This substance is Acrylamide a chemical by-product of roasting coffee beans and some other foods.

Acrylamide was first discovered in 2002 by a Eritrean scientist Eden Tareke in Sweden who found this chemical in potato (crisps), French fries (Chips) and bread (Toast) when food were heated above 120 ºC.

Acrylamide naturally forms in plants and grains when they are cooked at high temperatures. It is created in the Mallard (browning) reaction in which high heat transforms sugars and amino acids that change the colour and flavour of food.

Although studies so far have failed to find any harmful connection between common cancers and humans there is evidence it can cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Learn more about this evidence, what is being done to reduce Acrylamide in our food and the actions that you can take to eat less.

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