Acrylamide

Acrylamide

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Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Acrylamide. Computer model of a molecule of acrylamide (C3.H5.N.O). This crystalline organic compound occurs at low levels in fried foods such as chips (lower centre), as well as in bread, cereals, coffee and other products. There is concern that it could be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) because it is known to cause cancer at high doses in laboratory animals. Acrylamide is used industrially to make polymers and other organic compounds, and in ore refining and sewage treatment. Continued high-level exposure in the workplace is known to damage the nervous system.

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