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Microwave pre-cooking of French fries reduces cancer chemicals

Research news from the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture


Microwaving your French fries before you fry them reduces the levels of a cancer-causing substance, reveals findings published today in the SCI's Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

The discovery of acrylamide - a possible carcinogenic in humans - has led to much research being done to investigate the benefits of alternative cooking methods. Acrylamide forms during processes such as frying, baking and roasting where high-temperature and low-moisture conditions exist.

Although numerous studies have been conducted to explore the possibilities of reducing acrylamide levels in French fries, a team of researchers from Turkey has shown that by reducing the frying time and hence the acrylamide formation by microwave pre-cooking of potato strips prior to frying.

Publishing their work in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the researches showed that microwave application prior to frying resulted in a marked reduction of the acrylamide level in the surface region. When the potato strips were subjected to frying after a microwave pre-cooking step, acrylamide content in the whole potato strip was reduced by 36%, 41% and 60% for frying at 150, 170 and 190oC respectively.

"Microwaving French fries before cooking takes little time and in fact, microwave pre-cooked samples fried to the same degree of cooking appeared to have a more acceptable colour, probably due to the more gentle heat treatment they experienced during frying," says lead author Koray Palazoglu, of the University of Mersin, Turkey.


Notes For Editors:

Palazoglu, K: Reduction of acrylamide formation in French fries by microwave pre-cooking of potato strips, DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.2688

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About the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture is an SCI journal, published by John Wiley & Sons, on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry, and is available in print (ISSN: 0022-5142) and online (ISSN: 1097-0010) via Wiley Interscience For further information about the journal go to

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SCI is 'where science meets business'; an interdisciplinary network connecting Science, Commerce and Industry at all levels worldwide. Founded in London in 1881 and in New York in 1894, SCI provides opportunities for forward looking people in the pharmaceuticals, chemical, energy, water, materials, agriculture, environmental protection, food and construction areas to exchange ideas and gain new perspectives on technologies, markets, strategies and people. SCI's expertise and impartiality attracts men and women from all levels of business, research and public life, providing them with access to specialist meetings and symposia, e-events, journals, awards, student prizes and scholarships, books, and the respected twice-monthly magazine Chemistry & Industry. Find out more about 'where science meets business' at

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