Acrylamide. Computer model of a molecule of acrylamide. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (green), hydrogen (white), oxygen (red) and nitrogen (blue). This odourless crystalline compound is used industrially to make polymers and other organic compounds, in ore refining and in sewage treatment. Acrylamide has also been found in food and drinks that are processed or prepared at high temperatures. It is formed when the amino acid asparganine reacts with sugars. Foods acrylamide is found in include, breakfast cereals, chips and coffee. There is concern over these findings as studies show high level exposure is carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in laboratory animals.
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