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EFSA Publishes Scientific Opinion on Acrylamide in Food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has determined that current dietary exposures to acrylamide are not of concern with respect to non-neoplastic effects, however, there may be concern for neoplastic effects based on animal evidence. These findings are part of a scientific opinion on acrylamide in food, published on June 4, 2015, by the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) in response to a request from the European Commission.

Noting that the data from human studies were inadequate for dose-response assessment, the CONTAM Panel considered data from studies on experimental animals to establish the reference points. While the epidemiological associations have not demonstrated acrylamide to be a human carcinogen, according to the Panel, the margins of exposure (MOEs) do indicate a concern for neoplastic effects based on animal evidence.

Acrylamide is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed to all organs when ingested orally. The CONTAM Panel stated that since acrylamide and its metabolite glycidamide (GA) are positive in a variety of genotoxicity tests, it is inappropriate to establish a tolerable daily intake (TDI).

Estimation of human exposure to acrylamide revealed that infants, toddlers and children were the most exposed groups. EFSA recommended further research, including more exposure assessments and epidemiological studies to further evaluate possible associations between dietary acrylamide and cancer risk.