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Precooking Fries in Microwave Cuts Suspected Carcinogen

Levels of acrylamide reduced by nearly two-thirds depending on heat, study finds

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Precooking your French fries in the microwave before you fry them reduces levels of a suspected cancer-causing substance called acrylamide, a new study reports.

Acrylamide forms during high-temperature and low-moisture processes such as frying, roasting and baking. A number of studies have looked at ways to cut acrylamide levels in French fries.

This study by Turkish researchers, published Tuesday in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, found that microwaving French fries before frying them reduced frying time and, in turn, acrylamide formation.

After being precooked in the microwave, acrylamide content on the fries was reduced by 36 percent, 41 percent, and 60 percent when frying at 150 degrees C, 170 degrees C, and 190 degrees C, respectively.

"Microwaving French fries before cooking takes little time and, in fact, microwave precooked samples fired to the same degree of cooking appeared to have a more acceptable color, probably due to the more gentle heat treatment they experienced during frying," study lead author Koray Palazoglu of the University of Mersin, said in a prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about acrylamide in foods.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, Oct. 31, 2006
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