Thursday, December 06, 2007

What was the name of that chemical again?

Following on from the "brown food causes cancer" nonsense—neatly satirised by Olly's Onions—it seems that neither the bloody journos nor the fucking politicos have the first clue what they are talking about. [Emphasis mine.]
“Acrylamide” — CH2=CH-CO-NH2 — a fairly harmless organic intermediate in the production of some forms of plastics, has received a wide press lately, having been slated by the EU (no less!) for “increasing” the risk of uterine and ovarian cancers in “women” - (not in men, I hasten to notice.)

Firstly; the pretentiously-higgorant journos don’t mean “acrylamide” at all—they mean “acrylaldehyde”, which was what we chemists call “acrolein”. It is mildly oxidizing in the presence of liver-alcohol-dehydrogenase, inhibits it, and can extend hangovers caused by other reasons. It tastes and smells nasty and so it therefore might be a little bitty toxic as is the case with other poisons. It is produced in small amounts by carbonizing fried food further than necessary. Its formula is CH2=CH-CHO... A bit different from acrylamide (which does not occur naturally.)


1 comment:

Mike Power said...

Mmmmm. Actually, I think this is whoops to you, DK.

A little more research is recommended methinks. :)

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...