sealPurdue News

December 9, 2002

Expert says focus on diet, not carcinogens in fried, starchy foods

Charles Santerre, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, joined other experts from the Institute of Food Technologists in recommending consumers follow a balanced diet and consume starchy, fried foods in moderation.

In October, Santerre joined other experts from the Institute of Food Technologists to discuss the discovery of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen, in starchy, fried foods.

Six months ago the Swedish Food Authority reported that some favorite foods, such as potato chips and french fries, may contain acrylamide. At high levels, acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in animals. The implications of the Swedish findings motivated the World Health Organization to rapidly convene international experts to discuss the impact of this discovery.

"Until conclusions can be properly formulated, IFT recommends following nutritional guidelines with a balanced diet that can include these foods in moderation," Santerre said.

Santerre said the IFT recognizes the important areas for further study including dietary exposure levels, toxicological and metabolic consequences and learning how acrylamide is formed from natural components.

A related news release is available on the Web.

CONTACT: Santerre, (765) 496-3443,