Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of acrylamide: Arguments for the derivation of a tolerable daily intake (TDI value)– Dr Alexander Cartus is co-author of a scientific article published in Food and Chemical Toxicology

As a member of the working group on food constituents within the SKLM (Senate Commission on Food Safety) of the DFG (German Research Foundation), Dr Alexander Cartus (Chemservice Luxembourg) together with professors and representatives of authorities and industry has recently published an opinion presenting arguments for the derivation of a tolerable daily intake value for acrylamide in food.

Acrylamide is a food-borne contaminant in certain foodstuffs, generated, for instance, in foods processed at high temperatures like baking of frying.

Human alimentary exposure to acrylamide is thus practically not entirely avoidable. While acrylamide is considered to be both, genotoxic and carcinogenic, the Margin of Exposure concept as well as the (stepwise) ALARA principle (as low as reasonably achievable) are the sole concepts for risk characterisation, assessment and management according to EFSA (European Food and Safety Authority). The genotoxic properties of acrylamide are considered to be based on its metabolite glycidamide which is a rather weak mutagen/genotoxic agent. Furthermore, the endogenous formation of acrylamide in the human body is more and more recognised. In the recent years new evidence have become available that justify the classification of acrylamide as a chemical that does not significantly contribute to cancer risk in humans, provided an appropriate exposure limit is not exceeded. This is due to the non-linear dose-response relationships obtained for acrylamide in several studies which may allow to identify a thresholded mechanism of action in terms of genotoxicity for acrylamide.

Therefore, SKLM is of the opinion that the derivation of a tolerable daily intake (TDI) as a health-based guidance value is scientifically justified.

This would shift the assessment paradigm from a hazard-driven to a risk-driven approach also in terms of genotoxicity/carcinogenicity and would enable a straight-forward risk assessment besides the well acknowledged concepts like the establishing of mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food in the EU.

The open access article is available via the following link:

Food and Chemical Toxicology

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