Dutch food companies are failing to use special ingredients which stop a cancer-causing substance developing in potato crisps, French fries and biscuits, the AD newspaper reports on Thursday.
The substance – acrylamide – is released when starchy foods such as flour and potato products are baked or fried. Children are particularly at risk because they consume large quantities of snack foods, the paper points out.
‘Two pieces of gingerbread and a three-year-old child is taking in 10-times the limit [of acrylamide] that is allowed in Gemany. This is unacceptable,’ said Liberal (VVD) MP Halbe Zijlstra.
The Netherlands has no norms for acrylamide in snacks. Zijlstra told the paper he plans to ask the ministers responsible for food safety and health to introduce maximum limits. ‘Without them, manufacturers have no incentive to take action,’ he said.
Dutch chemicals company DSM confirmed that there is an enzyme available which reduces the levels of acrylamide in food by 80%. The European food manufacturers association told the paper the enzyme’s use had not yet been regulated or proved safe. But it has been given full clearance for use in the US, the paper said.
Meanwhile, the consumers association said on Thursday that ready-to-eat meals, cheese and canned vegetables contain far too much salt. This makes it impossible to stick to official targets of no more than six grammes of salt a day, the association said.
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