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Soaking Potatoes Leads To Healthier Chips

April 2008 - Research published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture has found that soaking potatoes in water before frying can reduce levels of acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical formed when starch-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures.

Researchers explain that there has been growing concern about the health impact of acrylamide and its potential carcinogenic effect in animals. The study compared simply washing raw potatoes to soaking them for 30 minutes or two hours before frying and found these measures reduced acrylamide formation by up to 23 per cent, 38 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.

These results were only obtained if the potatoes were lightly coloured rather than fried to a dark brown.

Lead researcher Dr Rachel Burch from Leatherhead Food International commented:

"There has been much research done by the food industry looking at reducing acrylamide in products but less so on foods cooked at home and we wanted to explore ways of reducing the level of acrylamide in home cooking."

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