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Research Projects

Acrylamide in Potato Crisps Project

Acrylamide in Potato Crisps Project

Some potato crisps contain high doses of acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical compound found in many plant-based, high-carbohydrate foods after they are heated. It has been shown that acrylamides cause cancer in some laboratory animals.

What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical that forms spontaneously in carbohydrate food at high temperature, especially in potato crisps – and coffee.

At this stage acrylamide is considered to be a probable human carcinogen, associated with kidney cancer, and post-menopausal and endometrial cancer. It is also neurotoxic.

Fact Sheet on Acrylamide

Download the fact sheet on Acrylamide.

How to avoid Acrylamide

It may be premature to deny yourself the morning cuppa at this stage, but it is never a bad idea to cut down. And we should all learn to live without the chips and to keep our kids away from potato crisps.

Progress made by us

CANSA went into partnership with The University of Stellenbosch (Central Analytical Facility – Mass Spectrometry Unit) and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology as acknowledged universities to use its infrastructure to perform Acrylamide research and analysis on Simba, Willards and Lays potato chips as well as KFC and McDonalds potato chips. We await the outcome of the research.


Get involved

  • Ask a question or make a comment regarding our research in the box at the bottom of this page.
  • Click here to make a secure online donation to support this research project or make a direct deposit to ABSA Bank, Account: CANSA Research, number: 4079965964, Branch: 632005, Reference: Type B Research – Acrylamide Project.
  • Read more about CANSA research here.


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