The chips are down

Soaking chipped potatoes in water before frying can reduce the formation of carcinogenic acrylamide according to a study published in the journal Science of Food and Agriculture. The discovery in 2002 that toxic acrylamide is formed naturally when certain carbohydrate based foods are cooked, and in particularly fried, led to a media feeding frenzy over toxic chemicals in our food. However, acrylamide, while toxic and putatively carcinogenic, forms naturally during the cooking process as a result of the reaction, at temperatures above 120 Celsius, of sugars and amino acids in starchy foods. It is quite ironic that the current generation of domestic cooks seems to have forgotten this traditional pre-preparation step of dunking chipped potatoes before frying.