On July 1, 2014 the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) published a draft scientific opinion on acrylamide in food which is now open for consultation. Acrylamide is formed when certain foods are prepared at high temperatures, but is also used in the production of food contact materials (FCMs). CONTAM estimates mean and 95th percentile dietary acrylamide exposures at 0.3 to 1.9 µg/kg body weight (bw)/day and 0.6 to 3.4 µg/kg bw/day, respectively. For FCMs it was previously recommended by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF, EFSA’s predecessor) that the presence of acrylamide should be as low as reasonably achievable based on acrylamide’s carcinogenic and genotoxic potential. Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 currently determines that acrylamide used in plastic FCMs may not be detectable in food. CONTAM asserts that the formation of the metabolic product of acrylamide, glucidamide is the underlying route for genotoxity and carcinogenicy. Available human studies were considered inadequate for dose-response assessment. A benchmark dose level, BMDL10 of 0.17 mg/kg bw/day for neoplastic effects was identified in rodent studies. CONTAM concluded that current exposure levels raise a concern of neoplastic effects across different diet and age groups.

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EFSA (July 1, 2014). “Acrylamide in food is a public health concern, says EFSA draft.