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Charred instead of crispy - Why over-frying is risky

37/2018, 05.11.2018

Heat-induced contaminants are the main topic in the latest BfR science magazine BfR2GO

When raw, unprocessed foods or their ingredients are heated, their chemical composition changes. They become easier to digest and taste better. But undesired compounds are produced in the pan, deep fryer or oven: heat-induced contaminants. The most well-known of them - acrylamide, furan, monochloropropandiol and glycidol - are presented in the latest edition of the science magazine BfR2GO, which is published by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). "Several substances produced through heating have a carcinogenic or mutagenic effect in studies," explains BfR President, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "Their uptake via food should therefore be limited." Various research projects at the BfR are examining the uptake of the substances in the body and the mechanisms of a possibly health-damaging effect. The latest issue of BfR2GO is dedicated to these activities on the health risks posed by heat-induced contaminants. BfR2GO also gives tips on what consumers should observe when roasting, frying and heating.

BfR2GO 2/2018:

An important task of the BfR is to inform the general public about possible health risks. Twice a year, BfR2GO provides up-to-date, well founded information on the research, assessment and communication of the possible health risks posed by foods, feeds, chemicals and consumer products in a compact format crammed full of knowledge. In each issue of BfR2GO, focus is placed on a current topic from the work area of the Institute. In the latest edition, focus is on the risks posed by the contaminants produced by the heating of foods and raw substances. There are also reports, interviews and news from all work areas of the BfR.

Other topics in this issue are the risk perception of tattoos, caffeine in food, the contact patterns of pigs in the barn, mineral oils in cosmetics, high-resolution microscopes that help to reduce animal experiments and interviews with the behavioural scientist Michael Siegrist and the Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Bernhard Url.

The science magazine BfR2GO appears twice a year in German and English and is published on the BfR website from where it can be downloaded free of charge or ordered directly: https://www.bfr.bund.de/en/science_magazine_bfr2go.html. Interested parties can register per e-mail for a free subscription to the magazine.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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