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Potato bite

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 06, 2008 12:29 IST

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Here's a bit of good news for lovers of potato chips. Soaking the potatoes in water before frying makes them a lot safer to eat.

According to a report in SCI Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, soaking the spuds helps reduce the levels of acrylamide in them.

Acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical, is formed when rich, starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, in frying, baking, grilling or roasting.

There has been growing concern that acrylamide may be harmful to health and may cause cancer in animals.

The study found that washing raw potatoes, soaking them for 30 minutes and for two hours, reduced acrylamide formation respectively by 23, 38 and 48 percent, but only if they were fried lightly.

Rachel Burch, who led the research team in Britain, pointed out that "much research done by the food industry (was) looking at reducing acrylamide in products but less so on foods cooked at home.

"We wanted to explore ways of reducing its level in home cooking."