Danish contaminant survey highlights acrylamide and arsenic

| July 20, 2013

A newly published survey of chemical contaminants in food reported by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark found that a varied diet carries a generally low risk, but that levels of a few specific contaminants should be reduced.

The survey evaluated data collected during the period 2004-2011 in response to a request from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. The levels of a wide range of contaminants found were assessed against consumption data for Danes.

While overall contaminant levels were not considered to be a cause for concern, the report states that, “it would be advantageous if the intake of certain compounds was reduced.”

Inorganic arsenic and acrylamide are highlighted in the report, with the carcinogenic potential of both compounds being the main concern. The National Food Institute estimates the average intake of acrylamide at 16 micrograms, but says that even this is too high. Inorganic arsenic derived from rice products is also highlighted as a potential health risk, especially for young children and pregnant women.

The full report can be found here.

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