If you love cooking in an air fryer, adjust the setting to avoid acrylamide emission
The air fryer is the “new microwave.” Often dubbed the quickest, healthiest, and safest cooking appliance yet discovered. However, a new study shows that overcooking may be the culprit in unhealthy cooking.
The Consumer Agency in Korea experimented on ten different brands of air fryers to check chemical emission that causes cancer. What they discover should make anyone who bought an air fryer change how they use it.
Acrylamide emission on an air fryer
The Korean agency cooked french fries in smaller batches to generate data, strictly following manual suggestions. Set at 200 degrees, the appliance emitted acrylamide. Here are the rest of the findings:
- At 200 degrees, it emitted up to 1,720 micrograms per kilogram of the toxic substance acrylamide.
- The result exceeds the EU standards by at least 3.4 times.
- The Korean standards for frying fries exceeded 1.7 times.
- Even if the cooking instructions of each brand was followed, four out of ten air fryer model still emitted acrylamide that exceeded EU standards.
Possible effects of HCA PAH, and acrylamide
According to the National Cancer Institute, HCAs and PAHs are mutagenic, which means they cause changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer.
Acrylamide is a potential cancer-causing chemical, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Acrylamide can affect the nervous system and cause some severe issues.
How to avoid the risk of cancer
1. Cook in large batches
When they tested cooking the fries in large batches, the emissions of acrylamide decreased. It meant that cooking a smaller amount of food in an air fryer may be dangerous because it forces the equipment to concentrate the acrylamide in such a small amount.
2. For a smaller amount, set the temperature a notch lower
To avoid the risk, experts recommend setting it a notch lower than the recommended cooking temperature or duration—whichever is possible. To achieve crispiness, you may need to extend the air frying duration.
3. Never overcook
An overcooked or burnt food may become carcinogenic, increasing the potential risk of cancer. For example, grilling meats at high temperatures results in the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are chemicals that form when meat is cooked at very high temperatures.
The best way to know is by color. For example, french fries are cooked adequately with light golden brown and without burnt corners.
Looking for the best brand of air fryer?
The bottom line, buying an air fryer seems simple, but it’s not. The best way to ensure you are getting value for your money and quality is to read all specifications and try the appliance. The first sign is toxic smell. Return it immediately.