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How should the food industry respond to acrylamide legislation?

Food manufacturers are legally required to manage acrylamide levels within food safety systems. By working with them and research establishments, RPS helps meet best practice acrylamide management.

24 September 2019 | 3 min read
Marco Lattughi

UK

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Acrylamide and legal requirements

EU regulations released April 2018, establish best practice, mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food. Acrylamide is classified as a Group 2A carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and a Category 2 carcinogen and Category 2 mutagen by the EU.

Food business operators, such as bakers and large food manufacturers, are required by law to implement and execute simple practical steps within their food safety management systems to manage acrylamide levels. It is not possible to eliminate acrylamide from foods, but actions can be taken to try and ensure that acrylamide levels are as low as reasonably achievable. Businesses are expected to:

  • Be aware of acrylamide as a food safety hazard and have a general understanding of how acrylamide is formed in the food they produce
  • Take the necessary steps to mitigate acrylamide formation in the food they produce; adopting the relevant measures as part of their food safety management procedures
  • Undertake representative sampling and analysis where appropriate, to monitor the levels of acrylamide in their products as part of their assessment of the mitigation measures
  • Keep appropriate records of the mitigation measures undertaken, together with sampling plans and results of any testing

We are UKAS accredited for acrylamide analysis and can also provide analysis of acrylamide precursors such as asparagine. We also take part in regular food performance testing to provide clients with the required quality assurance and peace of mind.

Marco Lattughi

Operational Director - Analytical Services

Acrylamide analysis and management

RPS works with many food manufacturers, across the UK and overseas, as well as research and development establishments to help ensure that levels of acrylamide in food are at suitable levels for consumption.

We have recently refurbished our Bedford Laboratory, installing the latest equipment including the triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS/MS), which is used for ultra-trace quantification of trace elements in a variety of challenging matrices. This ensures high levels of accuracy and minimal impact from delays on our local food industries.

We have recently developed a method for testing the asparagine content in foods, which can help food manufacturers assess both the reliability of their chosen mitigation steps, as well as the potential for acrylamide formation in the final product. This means we can provide data to our clients at both ends of the food manufacturing process.