Acrylamide in food: the discovery and its implications: a historical perspective

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2005;561:1-19. doi: 10.1007/0-387-24980-X_1.


The unexpected finding that humans are regularly exposed to relatively high doses of acrylamide (AA) through normal consumption of cooked food was a result of systematic research and relevant developments in methodology over decades, as well as a chain of certain coincidences. The present paper describes the scientific approach, investigations and events leading to the discovery of the formation of AA during cooking of foods. In addition, related issues concerning assessment, communication and management of cancer risks and associated ethical questions raised by the finding of the presence of AA in foods will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamide / analysis*
  • Epoxy Compounds / analysis
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Food Contamination*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Industry*
  • Hemoglobins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Models, Chemical
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Occupational Exposure


  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Hemoglobins
  • Acrylamide
  • glycidamide