Acrylamide forms when you fry, bake or deep-fry foods that contain a lot of starch – and is classified as “probably carcinogenic”. There are maximum values for chips made from potatoes, but not for vegetable chips. They also often contain too much acrylamide – current analyzes show.
Vegetable chips sound incredibly healthy just from the “vegetable” in the name. Like potato chips, however, they contain a lot of fat, salt – and acrylamide. This is shown by studies by the information service of the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Offices (CVUA). Acrylamide is considered “probably carcinogenic” to humans. The detectable amounts in eight of the 56 products analyzed often significantly exceeded the applicable maximum value for potato chips. It is 750 micrograms per kilogram. So far there is no benchmark for vegetable chips. The CVUA sample shows that vegetable chips are by no means healthier than potato chips!
Acrylamide also in homemade vegetable chips
So far, the – supposedly – healthier alternative to the vegetable chips from the supermarket has been to simply bake your own vegetable chips. As the current CVUA analyzes show, this is only a good idea to a limited extent: For their investigations, the experts also made their own vegetable chips using popular recipes. They cut raw sweet potatoes, carrots and beetroot into slices, mixed them with cooking oil and salt and baked the chips at different temperatures. The experts then analyzed the finished snacks for their acrylamide content. For this analysis, too, the assessment basis was the maximum value for potato chips.
The result: The vegetable chips baked at 180 degrees all reached too high acrylamide levels. “The acrylamide levels were very high compared to standard potato chips. In fact, the average levels in all the vegetable chip products examined were above the guideline value of 750 micrograms per kilogram,” food chemist Carmen Breitling-Utzmann told Deutschlandfunk.
Some varieties are more problematic than others: especially chips made from sweet potatoes and carrots contain a lot of acrylamide after baking in your own oven.
Vegetable chips: “Gild instead of charred”
With a few tips, however, you can definitely enjoy the homemade vegetable chips – at least as far as the acrylamide values are concerned: Don’t cut the vegetables into slices that are too thin, then they won’t burn so easily. A low temperature is clearly better than a high one, 130 degrees is optimal.