The Hong Kong Consumer Council revealed today that it had tested 49 different types of coffee products on the market and found the cancer-causing agent, acrylamide, in 47 samples. Instant coffee samples contained the highest.
The samples tested included instant coffee, coffee beans, capsules and powder.
Acrylamide is a genotoxic carcinogen and neurotoxic substance.* Prolonged exposure to high doses of acrylamide can increase the risk of cancer.
“Although the acrylamide content in coffee is relatively lower than fried foods, such as potato chips and French fries, consumers should pay attention to the amount and frequency of consumption when drinking coffee to reduce the intake of acrylamide,” said Nora Tam Fung-yee, chairwoman of the council’s research and testing committee.
The highest amount of acrylamide detected was Taster’s Choice (Nestle) Original Soluble Coffee, at 790 micrograms per kilogram. Only two products, OPAL Coffee’s Toraja Drip Coffee and The Coffee Academics’ TCA House Blend Specialty Coffee Capsules, did not contain any traces of the chemical.
*A genotoxic carcinogen causes cancer by damaging cellular DNA which results in mutations. A neurotoxic substance disrupts or even kills neurons, which are cells that transmit and process signals in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.