Health DG: Safe to consume biscuits, acrylamide content below EU benchmark levels


IPOH: The level of acrylamide found in some biscuits and crackers manufactured in Malaysia are below the benchmark level set by the European Union Commission Regulation, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

The Health director-general said the ministry's Food Safety and Quality Division (BKKM) found that there was a low health risk from consuming these biscuits.

"It was found that the average level of acrylamide is 246 µg/kg (micrograms per kilogram), which is below the benchmark level set by the European Union Commission Regulation of 350 µg/kg.

"The risk evaluation conducted found that the health risk from consuming the biscuits was low," he said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 27).

Dr Noor Hisham was commenting on the news whereby the Hong Kong Consumer Council announced on Monday that some 60 samples of pre-packed biscuits and crackers it tested contained cancer-inducing elements like acrylamide and glycidol.

Among the brands mentioned included Hup Seng, Jacobs and Julie's, which are manufactured in Malaysia.

The council also noted that 40% of the products analysed had misleading nutrition labels.

Dr Noor Hisham said the BKKM has been monitoring biscuit products that are marketed locally, including the aforementioned brands, since 2015.

He said acrylamide is a contaminant that can be produced during food processing or preparation.

"However, such contaminants can be controlled through the selection of appropriate raw materials and processes," he said, adding that the people can get more information on acrylamide in food from BKKM's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bkkmhq.

"The ministry is always sensitive and concerned on matters that can threaten the health of the people.

"The people can also contact their respective state Health Departments or district health offices if there are issues related to food safety or visit http://moh.spab.gov.my," he added.

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