Acrylamide in your “Morning Joe”

Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes (e.g., frying, roasting, baking). Acrylamide in food forms from sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) that are naturally present in food. It does not come from food packaging or the environment.

Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies where animals were exposed to acrylamide at very high doses. In 2010, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded that acrylamide is a human health concern. It suggested additional long-term studies need to be conducted.

Did you know that acrylamide was first detected in certain foods in April 2002?

Boiling and steaming do not typically form acrylamide. Acrylamide is found mainly in foods made from plants (e.g., potato products, grain products, coffee). Acrylamide does not form, or forms at lower levels, in dairy, meat, and fish products. Generally, acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures.


Expect your cup of coffee to come with a cancer warning if you live in California.