Acrylamide and other Toxins in your Favorite Foods

Monitoring our foods for processing-generated chemical hazards

Foods are inherently chemical in nature, and as a result, processing foods through mixing, heating and packaging, could generate potentially harmful chemical by-products or processing contaminants.

Acrylamide is a very common processing contaminant in French fries, potato chips, and other foods. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are commonly generated when foods and meats are roasted or smoked, and 4-methyl imidazole (4-MEI) is formed during the manufacturing of products that contain caramel coloring, and has been found in products such as colas, soy sauce and baked goods.

These contaminants are not intentionally generated, but some have carcinogenic effects if consumed in high doses, making them of interest in routine monitoring. LC/MS/MS is a highly sensitive and selective approach for the routine monitoring of these contaminants in food, as well as for the potential to survey and screen for unknown processing contaminants that could emerge as food science and technology advances.

Sensitive and absolute quantitation of acrylamide

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