Acrylamide content of industrial and traditional popcorn collected from Tehran's market, Iran: A risk assessment study

J Food Prot. 2023 Jan;86(1):100001. doi: 10.1016/j.jfp.2022.10.001. Epub 2022 Dec 16.


Acrylamide as a probable human carcinogen can be produced via the Maillard reaction between asparagine and reducing sugars at high temperatures during food processing. In this study, the concentration of acrylamide in industrial and traditional popcorn sold in Tehran, Iran in the spring of 2021 was analyzed. Industrial popcorn is popcorn that has a manufacturing license from the health authorities. Traditional popcorn is sold by retailers in entertainment centers. Estimated daily intake (EDI) and margin of exposure (MOE) for neurological changes and neoplastic effects have been estimated. The values of limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantitation (LOQ) were determined as 3.1 and 10.2 ng/mL, respectively. The amount of acrylamide was measured ranging from nondetectable up to 14.8 mg/kg. Acrylamide was detected in 86% of samples. The level of acrylamide in most popcorn samples has been detected as greater than LOD and LOQ. The average content of acrylamide in traditional popcorn was determined to be 7.7 mg/kg which was higher than the average value of 3.08 mg/kg found in industrial popcorn. Significant difference was observed between industrial and traditional popcorn samples. The average intake of popcorn for adolescent population was estimated as 2 g per day. EDI was calculated as 0.3 and 0.12 µg/kg of body weight per day for the traditional and industrial popcorn. These results indicated that popcorn can be considered a potential source of acrylamide exposure in the adolescent population. Furthermore, if the actual MOEs for neurological and neoplastic effects are estimated to be less than 10 000, it is considered a health risk. In this study, MOE has been estimated lower than 10 000 for neurological changes and neoplastic effects.

Keywords: Acrylamide; Adolescent population; Estimated daily intake; Margin of exposure; Risk assessment; Traditional and industrial popcorn.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamide* / analysis
  • Adolescent
  • Food Contamination* / analysis
  • Food Handling
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Risk Assessment


  • Acrylamide