What Is Acrylamide? | Chemical Safety Facts


Acrylamide is chemical compound that occurs naturally in some foods and generally results from high heat cooking processes. Acrylamide is found in 40 percent of the calories consumed in the average American diet – it occurs in most baked foods, such as breads and in baked and fried potatoes, and also occurs naturally in black olives, asparagus, dried fruit, prune juice, roasted almonds, cereals, crackers, cocoa powder and chocolate, coffee and many others.

Most consumer exposure to acrylamide is from food, and acrylamide has probably always been present in cooked foods. However, acrylamide was first detected in certain foods in 2002.

Acrylamide is also manufactured for a number of commercial and industrial uses.

Uses & Benefits

Acrylamide is primarily used industrially to make polyacrylamide, which is mainly used in treating effluent from water treatment plants and industrial processes.

In addition, acrylamide and polyacrylamides are used in the production of dyes and organic chemicals, contact lenses, cosmetics and toiletries, permanent-press fabrics, paper and textile production, pulp and paper production, ore processing, sugar refining, and as a chemical grouting agent and soil stabilizer for the construction of tunnels, sewers, wells and reservoirs.

Safety Information

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) website includes information on the latest scientific research on acrylamide and food safety.