The following is from a media release from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released the first phase of the 24th Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS) which looked at Australian consumers’ dietary exposure to acrylamide and aluminium.
FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Steve McCutcheon said levels of acrylamide in Australian foods and beverages were generally comparable, or lower than those observed internationally.
“However, the estimated dietary exposure remains in the range considered to be of possible human health concern by international expert committees,” Mr McCutcheon said.
“FSANZ is working with industry to look at ways to reduce acrylamide levels in food, such as encouraging industry to use enzymes that reduce acrylamide formation.
Acrylamide forms naturally in carbohydrate-rich foods during high temperature cooking, such as baking, frying and grilling. It can also occur through food processing methods used to enhance flavour and colour in snack foods such as potato crisps.
“The ATDS also looked at aluminium levels in the many foods that contain it naturally as well as processed foods likely to have additives containing aluminium. Most foods had some levels of aluminium, with the highest levels found in cakes, pikelets and pancakes.
“These results are consistent with international findings and indicate that most of the Australian population’s exposure to aluminium is within internationally recognised safe level—however there was a slight exceedance for 2-5 year old high consumers.
“It is unlikely that this slight exceedance represents a public health and safety issue—however FSANZ is investigating whether the current permissions for aluminium-containing food additives are still appropriate.”
FSANZ is committed to the ongoing monitoring of the Australian food supply and the ATDS is one tool we use to keep an eye on food and ensure its safety for Australian consumers.
Written by Rachelle Williams – the Green Food Safety Coach