Sainsbury's claims 'well fired' bread does not pose a cancer risk

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Sainsbury's denies selling 'burnt' bread, purporting it's 'very popular.' Pic: ©GettyImages/milosluz
Sainsbury's denies selling 'burnt' bread, purporting it's 'very popular.' Pic: ©GettyImages/milosluz

Related tags Sainsbury's Acrylamide burnt Cancer Food standards agency

The major UK retail chain has told BakeryandSnacks it's blackened loaves are well within limit following criticizm by The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) for selling bread that could contain higher than recommended levels of acrylamide.
Sainsbury's well fired loaf

Sainsbury’s says its instore baked black crusted bread – which it has been selling since the 1980s – was created by design and the acrylamide levels are within the Food Standards Agency (FSA) benchmark levels.

A spokesperson told BakeryandSnacks its “well fired loaves are popular and we can reassure customers that the acrylamide levels are low and well within the FSA benchmark levels.

“It’s not just about how well cooked a product is or how it looks. For acrylamide to form, there needs to be high levels of asparagine and high levels of sugars, as well as heat above 120°C.”

Acrylamide – caused from a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid in food that is fried, roasted, baked, grilled or toasted – is considered a carcinogen by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Generally, the darker the food the higher the risk.

Earlier this year, EU Regulation 2017/2158 came into force directing food producers to take the necessary steps to ensure acrylamide levels remain as low as is reasonably achievable.

However, products like Sainsbury’s well fired loaves do not breach the legislation, as the rules allow food businesses to maintain the characteristic elements of the food.

Sainsbury’s Well-Fired Loaf sells for 75p for a 400g loaf.

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