EU 2017/2158 (20-Nov-2017)

The recently adopted regulation: EU COMMISSION REGULATION (EU 2017/2158) (20-Nov-2017), established mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of acrylamide in food.  The regulation requires business operators (companies that produce food from wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, coffee and cocoa) to adopt the mitigation measures necessary to meet the objectives of the regulation. To confirm compliance with benchmark levels, the effectiveness of mitigation measures instigated by industry will have to be verified through sampling, testing and analysis.

From April 2020, the regulation will be enforced, and food-producers will have to show lowered acrylamide levels in their products.

Reducing acrylamide in food

The aims of the regulation are to reduce the level of acrylamide in food. In order to do this, food manufacturers, fast-food chains and restaurants (collectively known as a food business operators) have to follow certain procedures (mitigation measures). These mitigation measures are designed to ensure that the acrylamide concentrations in a variety of foods are below the indicative benchmark levels set out in the legislation.

Key points of the legislation include procedures based on the current scientific and technical knowledge and are dependent on the size of the food operator: the measures may be more in depth for large-scale businesses.


Mitigation measures for acrylamide reduction

Food business operators must apply the mitigation measures set out in the regulation’s annexes and sample and analyse the food they produce.  They will need to consider whether changes to their production processes are necessary to comply with the regulation.

The measures apply to selection, storage and transport of raw ingredients, recipes and design processes and the information made available to the public.

The products which are covered by the legislation include: French fries, other deep-fried and sliced products from fresh potatoes; potato crisps, snacks, crackers and other products from processed potato; dough, bread, fine bakery items (such as cookies, biscuits, rusks, cereal bars, scones, cornets, wafers, crumpets, gingerbread, crackers and crisp breads); coffee (roast and instant) and coffee substitutes; baby food and processed cereal-based food for infants and young children.

The European Commission will consider setting maximum acrylamide levels for certain foods and review the benchmark levels regulation every three years. The first review will be in 2021.

The regulation applies from 11thApril 2018.




The main objective of Curtis Analytics is to help companies and private clients to reduce the levels of acrylamide in their products. In order to achieve this, we are conducting ground-breaking and vital research into mitigation strategies and testing procedures. Our research projects are funded both publicly (through innovate UK) and privately.

Further reading

Acrylamide, a chemical described as ‘extremely hazardous’ and ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’, was discovered in food in 2002. Its presence in a range of popular foods has become one of the most difficult issues facing not only the food industry but all stakeholders in the food supply chain and its oversight.

For further reading on this topic, you can read Acrylamide in Food by Nigel G Halford & Tanya Y Curtis.


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