What is FDA 74-day letter

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) monitors contaminant levels in foods, including acrylamide, to inform FDA actions and protect public health. In 2003, the FDA developed methods to detect and quantify acrylamide, and has used this methodology to assess how much acrylamide the average U.S. consumer is exposed to through food.

By 2006, the FDA had tested more than 2,600 hundred samples for acrylamides. These included both individually purchased food products and samples from the FDA’s Total Diet Study. In 2011 and 2015, the FDA collected an additional 2,500 samples to be tested for acrylamide. These samples included individually purchased food products from retail markets or restaurants.

The FDA methodology for detecting acrylamide in foods is found on the Detection and Quantitation of Acrylamide in Foods web page.

Analytical Results of Testing Acrylamide in Foods

2011 - 2015 Analytical Results and Exposure Assessment

Between 2011 and 2015, the FDA collected approximately 2500 individual food product samples to study acrylamide levels in foods. Samples included food products known to contain higher levels of acrylamides. These 2011 - 2015 data were collected as a follow up to the data collected from 2002 - 2006, although the products and product brands of foods sampled vary.

The most recent data, as compared to earlier sampling, indicate significant decreases in acrylamide concentrations in potato chips and crackers; while acrylamide levels in other foods generally did not decrease significantly. Decreased acrylamide concentrations in potato chips and crackers suggest that some mitigating strategies are being used by industry; However, the continued presence of acrylamide in food suggests efforts to reduce acrylamides should continue.

This research contributes to the body of literature intended to inform strategies to promote a healthy food supply.

Because of unit-to-unit and lot-to-lot variation in acrylamide levels within food products, data are not designed to be used to inform consumer food choices. However, when considered collectively, these data can be useful in estimating overall exposures, and exposures by food product category.

  • Survey Data on Acrylamide in Foods: Individual Food Products September 2019
  • Acrylamide levels and dietary exposure from foods in the United States, an update based on 2011-2015 data. Abt, E., Robin, L. P., McGrath, S., Srinivasan, J., DiNovi, M., Adachi, Y., & Chirtel, S. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 2019, 1-16.

2002 - 2006 Analytical Results and Exposure Assessments

In 2002, the FDA began to analyze a variety of U.S. food products for acrylamides. The data presented in the links below are results from analysis of individual food product samples and composite food samples from FDA's Total Diet Study (TDS).

Data collected from 2002 - 2006 were part of the FDA’s formative efforts to understand acrylamide in foods, estimate exposure to acrylamide, and to develop effective mitigating strategies.

Because of unit-to-unit and lot-to-lot variation in acrylamide levels within food products, these data are only reflective of acrylamide levels in the individual purchased food products tested. Taken as a whole, the data can be used to estimate overall exposure to acrylamide, including exposures by food product category.