Variation in acrylamide concentration in French fries : effects of control measures in food service establishments

M.A.I. Sanny

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The aim of this thesis was first to identify the major technological and managerial factors and to investigate their contribution to variation in acrylamide concentrations.  The second aim was to investigate the effect of technological and managerial control measures on the concentration and variation of acrylamide in the preparation of French fries in food service establishments (FSE).  The variation ininitial concentration of reducing sugars, variable frying conditions and food handler’s inadequate control of these factors in their daily practice could lead to the large variation and high acrylamide concentrations.  The least variation in acrylamide was found in French fries prepared in chain fast-food services (CFS) compared to institutional caterers(IC) and restaurants, although the mean concentration of acrylamide among the three FSE types was not significantly different.  The variation in frying temperature contributed most to the variation in acrylamide, followed by the variation in frying time; no obvious effect of reducing sugars was found.  The lack of standardised control of frying temperature and time (due to inadequate frying equipment) and variable frying practices of food handlers seem to contribute  most to the large variation and high acrylamide concentrations in French fries prepared in restaurants.  Lowering the concentration of reducing sugars in par-fried potato strips can be an effective control measure to reduce acrylamide concentrations in French fries, but only if prepared under standardised frying conditions in CFS and IC.  Frying instructions were shown to support food handlers’ decisions to start frying when the oil temperature reached 175oC, although an inconsistent effect of the instructions on the food handlers’ decisions to end frying was observed.  The mean concentration of acrylamide for the restaurants as a group was not significantly different, but data analysis for each restaurant showed that if the food handlers properly followed the instructions, the mean concentration of acrylamide was significantly lower compared to before instructions.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van Boekel, Tiny, Promotor
  • Luning, Pieternel, Co-promotor
Award date20 Mar 2012
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789461731432
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • chips (french fries)
  • acrylamides
  • deep fat frying
  • quality controls
  • quality management
  • food preparation

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