Swedish researchers at the state Food Control Authority (Livsmedelsverket) in Uppsala have found that coffee contains significant levels of the carcinogen acrylamide. Drinking a litre of coffee per day can raise the average person’s acrylamide intake nearly 100%.
The Swedish findings in Uppsala and Stockholm confirmed tests in Switzerland and Germany that measured 20 micrograms per litre of brewed coffee.
After an earlier Swedish study established a link between frying and baking starches and the formation of acrylamide, the Swedish authority calculated the average daily intake at 24 micrograms. This figure did not take coffee drinking into account.
“The results of acrylamide in coffee have up to now been tentative and we have been unsure, that is why we have not presented them before,” said Food Control chemist Karl-Erik Hellenäs. “We are still developing analytical methods.”
Heavy consumers of foods like French fries and potato chips can have a much higher daily intake. The Swedish FCA will soon present a list of average acrylamide intake for a range of common foods.