Last week the European Commission announced it wants to reduce the presence of acrylamide in food. This carcinogenic substance forms automatically during high temperature processing, such as frying and baking. Exactly how the traditional Wiener Schnitzels are made…
Once implemented, the new regulation will require that food business operators apply mandatory measures to reduce the presence of acrylamide. One of these measures concerns the frying temperature: maximum 175 degrees celcius.
Now, the Austrians fear for their Wiener Schnitzel. Often fried in a thick layer of superhot fat in a normal frying pan, the traditional dish could be stuffed with carcinogenic substances. But according to Andrä Rupprechter, the Austrian Minister of Agriculture, the ‘Frittenpolizei’ is a ‘unnecessary bureaucratic monster of the EU’ that he will ‘resist with all his strength’.
Will the real Austria please stand up?
Lucky for him, the proposal still has to be approved by the Council and the European Parliament. The two institutions will have three months to examine it before final adoption by the Commission. But since his own country voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal, it’s uncertain if Rupprechter will succeed in his war against healthier schnitzels. Will the real Austria please stand up?
— EU-Kommission Wien (@EUKommWien) July 25, 2017
Acrylamide is a substance that forms from amino acids and sugars in foods during high temperature processing, such as frying, roasting and baking. This happens particularly in potato-based products (like fries, chips and baked potatoes), in cereal-based products (like the bread crumbs on the Wiener Schnitzel) and coffee and coffee substitutes. In 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) investigated the substance and discovered that it can cause cancer in mice and rats. Little is known about the effect on people. But based on the animal tests, EFSA concludes that also people are at greater risk of getting cancer if they often eat foods that are relatively rich in acrylamide.
How to avoid it
Since so many foods contain acrylamide, it is almost impossible nót to eat (or drink) it. According to The Netherlands Nutrition Centre, the best way to avoid the substance, is to have a varied diet and to stay away from fried foods. If you do have a crave for home made fries: set the temperature of your deep fryer at 175 degrees celcius max. Otherwise, keep an eye on the colour: the darker your fries or Wiener Schnitzel, the more acrylamide it contains. The same goes for coffee: espresso contains more of the substance than filter coffee. Since coffee also has some proven health benefits, the current advice is to drink maximum 4 cups of filter coffee or maximum 2-3 espresso a day.
Source | Heute