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Concept of minimising acrylamide contents in foodstuffs

This strategy concept was agreed among the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit - BVL), the German federal states, industry, and the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture.

Which is the concept?

  • BVL collects analytic results on acrylamide contents in foodstuffs from official food surveillance laboratories of the federal states and from the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment.
  • Foodstuffs concerned are classified with certain food groups (observation of food groups). Those foods which make up the ten per cent most contaminated products in each group are identified. The lowest of the acrylamide contents of these upper 10 % is the signal value for this group. If the signal value is higher than 1000 µg/kg, the signal value will automatically be 1000 µg/kg. Additionally an observation of single products stemming from producers with an important market position is performed.
  • If acrylamide contents are found above the signal value, the states competent for the food producers concerned are informed.
  • Food control authorities will contact food producers concerned and enter into the minimisation dialogue to check whether ingredients or processes could be changed to minimise acrylamide contents, and which changes this could be.
  • BVL will update signal values annually. This will balance the effects of seasonal fluctuations in acrylamide contents in foods and of seasonal variations in the food offer.
  • Once calculated, signal values will not be raised as long as this minimisation concept is pursued, but will be maintained or lowered. This means that acrylamide contents in relevant foods will be continually reduced if the minimisation measures are successful.
  • Food with acrylamide contents of more than 1000 µg/kg and from food groups for which no signal values have yet been set will automatically be included in the minimisation dialogue described above.

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