Can you eat burnt food?

In this brief article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat burnt food?” with a thorough analysis of significant aspects like burnt food, side effects of eating burnt food, substances formed due to over-cooking, Recommendations of World Health Organization about burnt food and solution of burnt food.

Can you eat burnt food?

No, you can not eat burnt food. It is recommended not to eat burnt food as it can cause many reactions inside the body including carcinogenic reactions. When food is cooked at a high temperature the components like starch and protein result in the formation of acrylamide and other harmful reagents.

Burnt food

Burnt food is produced by cooking food for longer allowing the nutrients like protein and sugar to go to the past point of caramelization turning the colour of the food to dark brown or black with a bitter taste. That burnt part of food gives an acidic taste to the rest of the food.

The core of the issue

Acrylamide” is a substance that is released from food consisting of a high quantity of starch when it is over-cooked at high temperatures. This substance exposes you to a high risk of cancer.

Acrylamide

Acrylamide is a chemical that is present in various items like packed food and canned products. It is also used to assemble plastic and paper. It has been found that certain chemical reactions take place during cooking at a very high temperature, these reactions result in the formation of acrylamide. 

Additionally, high starch food products such as bread and potato consist of an amino acid termed “Asparagine”. Asparagine is also converted into acrylamide as a result of overheating high starch food products at high temperatures, thus resulting in the formation of toxic compounds with certain health risks.

How to eat less acrylamide?

There are some instructions by the FDA that can be followed to reduce the intake of acrylamide. Acrylamide is related to the food items such as potato and bread, it has no connection with seafood meat, raw-plant based items, and dairy items like milk or cream. 

Acrylamide is not formed by boiling or steaming the food. It is all related to burnt toast or potatoes. So, it is suggested when taking breakfast to avoid more brown areas of bread even if they are from toasting or deep frying.

Also, it is instructed by the FDA not to refrigerate potatoes as the refrigerator enhances the acrylamide level. So, try to place potatoes in a pantry or a cool and dark place. Also, it is suggested to cook or fry cut potatoes in the form of fries keeping them in light brown colour. As the more brown area symbolizes the more acrylamide that is a greater risk of health problems.

Harmful effects of acrylamide

In the burnt food, a chemical reaction leads to the formation of acrylamide that when ingested in this form can reach DNA where it alters the genomic sequence and modifies living cells, causing carcinogenic compounds to be active. As it is claimed by some experts that acrylamide may act as a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins are those toxic compounds that can ruin nerve cells partially or completely.

WHO Recommendation

It is recommended by the World Health Organization to avoid cooking food for too long especially at a high temperature to lessen the risk of carcinogenic reactions.

Solution

To prevent the food from over-cooking or to keep it safe to turn black, it is necessary to reduce the cooking time for items like potatoes. Similarly, in the case of bread, it is better to toast it for less time keeping it in brown colour, rather than in dark brown or black colour. We should not neglect the cooking aspects for the good maintenance of our health.

Risks associated with eating burnt food

Some of the studies indicate that consumption of burnt food by females can lead to uterine disorders like cancer. Moreover, it has been speculated that eating burnt food may double the risk of ovarian cancer. Although there is not enough evidence about the risks of eating burnt food, it is better to avoid eating burnt food to save ourselves from any risks. We should prefer eating healthy food instead of the bakery or processed food as it is said: “Prevention is better than cure”.  

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat burnt food?” with a thorough analysis of significant aspects like burnt food, side effects of eating burnt food, substances formed due to over-cooking, Recommendations of World Health Organization about burnt food and solution of burnt food.

References

https://recipes.timesofindia.com/articles/food-facts/6-reasons-why-you-should-never-eat-burnt-toast/photostory/64976846.cms
https://www.bonappetit.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-charred-and-burnt
https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/can-eating-burnt-toast-cause-cancer/
https://www.marthastewart.com/7615889/burned-food-health-risk

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.