Acrylamide in coffee emerges naturally during bean roasting and is not harmful to consumers, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA responded to the reports that acrylamide was found in 12 brands of roasted coffee products and 15 brands of instant coffee. The compound was detected in various amounts, with the highest one at 954.47 micrograms per kilogram which breached the safe threshold of the European Union.
In fact the Codex Alimentarius Commission which implements the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program and the EU have not set the maximum level of the compound in each kind of food. The safe thresholds of 400μg/kg for roasted coffee and 850 μg/kg for instant coffee are only benchmark levels used for quality control in food processing.
FDA deputy secretary-general Weerachai Nolwachai said acrylamide was produced in the high-temperature production of some kinds of food including the roasting of coffee beans. It did not result from any additive or unhygienic production.
There was not any clear evidence to prove that acrylamide was harmful to humans. The substance would be discharged from human bodies through urination within three hours and a half. Therefore, regular coffee consumers would not suffer any health problem in the long run, Mr Weerachai said. (TNA)