Fuzhou, December 12 (Ye Qiuyun) A few days ago, the Fujian Provincial Consumer Rights Protection Committee carried out a comparative test on 8 ready-made and ready-to-sell coffees from 20 coffee sales units in Fuzhou City, and all of them detected low levels of acrylamide, a class 59A carcinogen, and the samples involved well-known brands such as Luckin and Starbucks. Subsequently, the news that "drinking coffee = carcinogenic" was widely circulated on online platforms.

Pictured is Starbucks coffee. Photo by Ye Qiuyun

The reporter learned from the Fuzhou Municipal Administration for Market Regulation that "drinking coffee = carcinogenic" is a "false proposition". Although coffee contains acrylamide, the amount of coffee consumed by a normal person is far from carcinogenic.

Chen Ran, associate research librarian and senior engineer at COFCO Nutrition and Health Research Institute, said that coffee beans do produce acrylamide during roasting, which is a Class II carcinogen recognized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Does that mean you can't drink coffee? Chen Ran said that when everyone talks about toxicity, they have to talk about dose. In fact, the amount of acrylamide in a cup of coffee is very small, and you need to drink at least two or three hundred cups of coffee to achieve the amount that has an impact on the human body.

Chen Ran said that the public does not need to talk about acrylamide discoloration. In fact, starchy foods produce some acrylamide when heated, and a small amount of acrylamide will not affect the human body.

So, what is acrylamide? Among the four categories of carcinogens announced by the World Health Organization, acrylamide belongs to class 2A carcinogens, that is, there is limited evidence of carcinogenic effect on humans, and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to experimental animals. A large number of animal tests have shown that acrylamide is carcinogenic and can cause nervous system damage. Many epidemiological studies have shown that acrylamide is associated with kidney cancer, endometrial cancer, and head and neck tumors, but these carcinogenicities are only "suspected".

What foods are prone to acrylamide? The relevant person in charge of the Fuzhou Municipal Administration for Market Supervision reminded that coffee does contain acrylamide, a potential carcinogen, but not only coffee has this substance; Fried food is the main source of acrylamide, and fried food should be eaten sparingly. (ENDS)