Why the Negative Effects of the Maillard Reaction Shouldn’t Worry You

In fairness to the ACSH, he seems to be broadly correct about the alleged dangers of the Maillard reaction. A 2011 investigation of the potentially toxic aspects of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural published in Molecular Nutrition Food Research found that the estimated daily exposure from food and drink was likely too low to be toxic or carcinogenic in humans. Although this leaves open the possibility that the caramel colors used in artificial colors and other additives could be problematic. Similarly, Wine Spectator allayed concerns about the presence of diacetyl in wine by explaining that the substance is toxic when inhaled in large amounts. Diacetyl, he noted, only began to become a concern when workers at a popcorn packing plant developed lung disease from prolonged exposure to the air. In neither case are the substances in sufficient quantity to cause concern.

But maybe you shouldn’t just completely eliminate acrylamide. And maybe there’s more to consider than meets the eye when reading an ACSH article with the headline “EU Still Drinking Acrylamide Kool-Aid.” While it is true that the EU could be more cautious in part due to its precautionary principle, concerns about acrylamide are not absent from the United States. The FDA’s position on the matter in February of this year is that the health effects are unclear, and it has prepared recommendations for businesses and consumers on how to reduce the amount of acrylamide in foods. .

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