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Soak potatoes for healthier chips
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A new British study suggests that simply soaking potatoes in water before frying can significantly cut down the levels of the suspected carcinogen acrylamide, media reported Friday.

Acrylamide, the potentially cancer-causing chemical, is created when starch-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures above 120°C, such as frying, baking, grilling or roasting.

The study finds that washing raw chips, soaking them for 30 minutes and soaking them for two hours can reduce the formation of acrylamide by up to 23 percent, 38 percent and 48 percent respectively.

The study is conducted only if the fries were cooked to a light color. It's not clear whether the same reductions could be achieved if French fries are cooked to a deep, dark brown.

"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," said lead author Rachel Burch of Leatherhead Food International.

The three-year project recommended eating home-cooked meals, which contain much less acrylamide than processed products.

(Xinhua/Agencies March 7, 2008)

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