KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 ― The average level of acrylamide content of biscuits and crackers in the local market is below the benchmark set by European Commission Regulations, said Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said that Ministry of Health (MoH) monitoring, via its Food Safety and Quality Division (BKKM), on these products in the local market since 2015 recorded 246 μg/kg (microgramme per kilogramme) which is below the level of 350 μg/kg as set by EU.

“Biscuit brands monitored by the MoH, including Hup Seng, Jacobs and Julie’s, manufactured in Malaysia, are alleged to contain acrylamide and glycydol, carcinogenic substances that can pose a risk to health.

“BKKM also conducts risk assessment on acrylamide and glycidol in food and it shows that the health risk of both through the consumption of biscuits is low,” he said.

He said that users could get a guide on acrylamide contamination in food from the BKKM's official Facebook page.

Dr Noor Hisham said that users can also contact the nearest state health department or district health office, or through the website or Facebook account if there are issues related to food safety.

He also said that MoH was always sensitive and concerned about things that could threaten the health of consumers.

The issue of acrylamide and glycidol contamination in confectionery products went viral on social media recently following a report by CHOICE Magazine on the Hong Kong Consumer Council website, which announced 60 brands of flour confectionery products, including biscuits, which are sold in the Hong Kong market and allegedly contain the two ingredients.

Among the brands listed are Hup Seng, Jacobs and Julie’s, manufactured in Malaysia.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), acrylamide and glycidol are carcinogenic substances, and can pose a risk to human health.

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. ― Bernama