In the world of culinary delights, french fries hold pride of place as a crunchy and irresistible snack. However, behind every crunchy morsel lies a complex science that deserves attention. Industrial frying of chips, a much-loved process globally, poses risks to human health that cannot be ignored.



One of the main risks is the formation of acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic chemical substance that develops during high-temperature cooking of starchy foods such as potatoes. This compound is formed through the Maillard reaction, which gives chips their distinctive golden color and rich flavor.

Frying oil

The quality of French fries depends not only on the potatoes, but also on the frying oil. A quality oil with a high smoke point can better resist high temperatures, preserving its nutritional properties and reducing the formation of harmful substances. When choosing the oil it is important to determine its iodine number to understand its saturation level and its behavior in long-term frying. Furthermore, to guarantee a safe and high-quality final product, maintenance of the oil is crucial, through regular checks such as analysis of free fatty acids and the peroxide value.

The level of reducing sugars in potatoes

The varieties of potatoes used are equally important. Selecting potatoes with a low reducing sugar content, ideally below 0.5% dry weight, can significantly decrease acrylamide formation.

The analysis of glucose and fructose is therefore a fundamental control to be carried out on the raw material both at the time of acceptance and during storage, given that these sugars tend to increase rapidly depending on the storage conditions. In addition to the formation of acrylamide, a high sugar content in potatoes can also lead to excessive coloring during frying and an altered taste.

This approach is supported by research that highlights a direct correlation between the level of reducing sugars in potatoes and the amount of acrylamide produced.


The CDR FoodLab® method for determining sugars in potatoes

With the CDR FoodLab® analysis system, it is possible to determine the level of sugars (glucose and fructose) in potatoes after briefly processing the sample. 

CDR FoodLab® itself is widely used by manufacturers of snacks and french fries to monitor the quality of frying oil through the determination of Free Fatty AcidsPeroxide Value, Iodine Value and p-Anisidine Value

Here is a short list of the CDR FoodLab® system advantages: 

  • Analyses are very quick and rely on an analysis method that is reference method compliant

  • Analysis can be performed any time inside the plant, in large quantities 

  • CDR FoodLab® allow time saving and drastic cutback of analysis costs 

  • The simplicity and rapidity of the analysis method allow everyone to perform the tests with the analyzer 

  • CDR FoodLab® uses prefilled cuvettes and reagents that does not require an equipped chemical laboratory 


  • De Wilde T. et al. “Selection Criteria for Potato Tubers To Minimize Acrylamide Formation during Frying”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry · April 2006
  • J. Stephen Elmore et al. “Acrylamide in potato crisps prepared from 20 UK-grown varieties: Effects of variety and tuber storage time”. Food Chemistry · February 2015
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The Secret to perfect frying: quality oil and potatoes to prevent acrylamide

The role of sugars in potatoes in acrylamide formation during the frying process.