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Acrylamide; carcinogen; exposure french fries; intake
Among the safety concerns in fried potato products are the levels of acrylamide. High intake of acrylamide has been linked to carcinogenicity in animals and it remains a suspect human carcinogen. The current study was intended to assess exposure to acrylamide through consumption of French fries in Nairobi, Kenya. Data on levels of acrylamide was obtained by analysing samples purchased from fast food outlets in Nairobi while consumption survey was carried out in the same region targeting individual consumers. Consumption data was combined with levels and dietary acrylamide exposure was calculated using probabilistic approach. Results indicated that 57.8% of respondents were males while 42.2% were females. Majority (64.1%) of the consumers were in the age bracket of 20- 29 years. About 17.8% of the respondents consumed French fries once daily, while 78.7% consumed fries at least once a week. Average acrylamide levels in French fries significantly (p<0.05) differed with point of purchase being highest in middle end hotel fries (412 µg/kg) followed by fries from street processors (354.18 µg/kg) and high-end hotels (136.15 µg/kg). The mean and 95th (P95) percentile acrylamide intakes for consuming street processed fries were respectively 0.693 and 2.469 µg/kg bw/day, while for the middle end hotels were 0.81 and 3.369 µg/kg bw/day, respectively. The mean and 95th (P95) percentile acrylamide intakes for consumption of high-end hotel fries were 0.256 and 1.035 µg/kg bw/day, respectively. When the worst-case scenario was considered, the mean margins of exposure for the street fries (260) and middle hotel fries (223) were below 310 with 95th percentiles being extremely low at 73 and 53, respectively. Consumers of these fries are at high risk of exposure. High exposures in the current study should warrant concern and need for appropriate measures to be taken by appropriate agencies.