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HEALTHY CHIPS? SOAK YOUR SPUDS FOR 2HRS; Cancer risks reduced by washing.

Byline: By MIKE SWAIN, Science Editor

WE all know a tasty plate of chips isn't the healthiest of snacks...

High in fat and calories, it even has a chemical which can cause cancer.

But scientists have found a surefire way of making them safer by soaking them for two hours to cut down on killer acrylamide by 48 per cent.

Acrylamide is formed when starch-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures.

But scientists have copied how potatoes are prepared at home and found that giving them a good soak produces healthy, light-brown chips.

Washing cuts down levels of acrylamide by 23 per cent, while soaking them for half an hour reduces it by 38 per cent.

Dr Rachel Burch, of Leatherhead Food International, said: "There has been much research done by the food industry looking at reducing acrylamide in products but less so on foods cooked at home."

The presence of the chemical in cooked foods was discovered six years ago. Sugars build up the longer potatoes are stored, producing a higher concentration of acrylamide when cooked.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2008
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