Watch out! Overcooked potato chips may be carcinogenic
They found that potatoes, which have been part-cooked before sale and then quickly reheated before serving, contain increased levels of the substance.
A study by researchers at Reading University found acrylamide is present in chips, which have been dried, frozen and cooked twice before reaching the table, a common form of preparation.
This method is used to make shoestring fries, the thin chips widely sold in thousands of fast-food restaurants and takeaways across the country.
Acrylamide is a carcinogen. It is present in a wide range of foods such as biscuits, breads, crisps and chips that have been baked, fried or grilled at temperatures higher than 120C.
The new report, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, has sparked warnings for restaurants not to over-cook chips as the substance has been detected in potatoes and starch-rich foods, which have been heated for long periods.
It urges the food industry to modify how it prepares potatoes for sale to restaurants and takeaways.