Last year, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a warning about eating over-fried potatoes, burnt toast and crisps that can contain cancer-causing chemicals such as acrylamide. They are deeming them a serious health threat to billions of consumers.
At present, raw potatoes that produce an excess of the carcinogenic chemical acrylamide cannot be detected in a fast, sensitive and non-destructive way.
But a new technique developed by Lien Smeesters, at the B-PHOT Brussels Photonics Team at the University of Brussels, in collaboration with Tomra Sorting Solutions, employs a new sensor. This sensor scans peeled potatoes and weeds out food that may cause high levels of acrylamide.
Currently only general quality tests are available for assessing potatoes with no accurate acrylamide detection. Food safety measures involve a person examining a sample and accepting an entire batch if the small selection passes. However, with this new sensor, every potato or individual French fry can be examined in a rapid, safe and thorough manner for the first time.