Following a comprehensive review of the available evidence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) expert Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain has published a scientific opinion reconfirming previous evaluations that the food processing contaminant acrylamide is potentially carcinogenic.
Acrylamide is produced in a variety of starchy foods that are cooked at high temperatures as a by-product of the Maillard browning reaction. The most important food groups contributing to acrylamide exposure are fried potato products, coffee, biscuits, crackers, crisp bread and soft bread.
Animal studies have shown that acrylamide and its metabolite glycidamide are genotoxic and carcinogenic. Evidence from studies on the effect of dietary exposure to acrylamide in humans is limited and so far inconclusive, but the Panel reiterated its view that the chemical potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers of all ages when present in food.
The scientific opinion can be found in full on the EFSA website here.