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Changes to acrylamide regulations in 2023: What biscuit and cookie manufacturers need to know

EU legislation on acrylamide is set to be renewed next year, meaning its crunch time for a number of manufacturers who are still producing biscuits and cookies with acrylamide levels above the 350 ppb benchmark level (BML).

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of acrylamide in common foods, such as biscuits, cookies, potato chips, coffee and several other cereal and potato-based foods prepared at high temperatures (> 120°C) under low-moisture conditions.

Acrylamide is a naturally formed component of the browning effect - also known as the Maillard reaction - between amino acids and reducing sugars under heat. It is also considered a carcinogen, and in 2018, EU legislation introduced the BML in biscuits and cookies below 350 parts per billion (ppb).

EU regulation 2017/2158 on acrylamide is now set to be renewed in 2023, expected to adjust BLMs and introduce new maximum levels. The current benchmark level of 350 ppb in biscuits and cookies might go down to 300 ppb, with a maximum level of 500 ppm.