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Clues to Possible Junk Food Carcinogen Found

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CHICAGO – SEPTEMBER 30: French fries wait to be ordered at a fast-food restaurant September 30, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. Scientists have made progress in understanding the chemical reaction that may cause fries, potato chips and other fried or starchy foods to build up high levels of acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen found in a host of everyday foods. The culprit is believed to be asparagines, a naturally occurring amino acid that can lead to the formation of the potential carcinogen when subjected to high temperatures. Swedish scientists in the spring announced that high levels of acrylamide can be found in many high-carbohydrate foods that are fried or baked at high temperature. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made assessing acrylamide?s risk and determining how to lower its levels in food a priority. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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