Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2015, 3(8), 495-501
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-3-8-4
Open AccessArticle

Levels of Acrylamide in Commercial Potato Crisps Sold in Nairobi County, Kenya

Jackline A. Ogolla1, , George O. Abong1, Michael W. Okoth1, Jackson N. Kabira2, Jasper K. Imungi1 and Paul N. Karanja3

1Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi (Kangemi), Kenya

2National Potato Research Centre (KARI), Tigoni, Limuru. Nairobi, Kenya.

3Department of Food Science Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya

Pub. Date: October 17, 2015

Cite this paper:
Jackline A. Ogolla, George O. Abong, Michael W. Okoth, Jackson N. Kabira, Jasper K. Imungi and Paul N. Karanja. Levels of Acrylamide in Commercial Potato Crisps Sold in Nairobi County, Kenya. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2015; 3(8):495-501. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-3-8-4


Acrylamide is mainly formed in fried and baked carbohydrate rich foodstuffs such as potato chips and crisps through maillard reaction at elevated temperatures. This study was designed to determine the levels of acrylamide in commercial potato crisps those sold in Nairobi, Kenya. Different brands of potato crisps were purchased from retail outlets while unbranded (street) samples were purchased from kiosks in five districts of Nairobi County. The samples purchased were a total of 35 branded samples and 15 unbranded samples. The parameters analyzed were moisture, colour and acrylamide content. The moisture content of the crisps ranged from 0.39% to 7.97%. There was a significant (P≤0.05) difference among the crisp samples in the L* a* b* colour parameters. Most of the samples were light colored with lightness (L*) parameters greater than 50 apart from only two samples. Most samples tended towards green as shown by the negative values of redness parameter (a*) indicating that there was less or no excess browning of the products during frying. All the samples tended towards yellow as indicated by positive values of yellowness parameter (b*). Acrylamide levels significantly (P≤0.05) differed between the traded crisps brands ranging from non-detectable levels to 8666 μg kg−1 in the branded samples while in the unbranded samples it ranged from 5666 μg kg−1 in Kiosk 7 to 9499 μg kg−1 in Kiosk 6. There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in acrylamide levels between the branded and the unbranded (street) potato crisps. Most of the flavoured brands were non-detectable.

acrylamide potato crisps carcinogen colour processing

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Ministry of Agriculture (2007). Economic review of agriculture. The Cen-tral Planning and Monitoring Unit. Nairobi: Ministry of Agriculture.Muyanga M, Jayne TS (2006). Agricultural extension in Kenya: practice and policy lessons. Working Paper No. 26. Tegemeo Inst Agric Policy Dev, Egerton University.
[2]  Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Mainstreaming the potato crop from orphan crop status. Proceedings of Round Table Africa (RTA) potato stakeholders’ workshop held on 8th May 2009, Nairobi, Kenya. 2009.
[3]  Kulkarni, K.D. and Govinden, N., Crisp Quality of Two Potato Varieties: Effects of Dehydration and Rehydration. Journal of Science and Food Agriculture, 64: 205- 210. 1994.
[4]  Knol, J.J., Vicklund G., Linssen, J.P.H., Sjoholm, I.M., Skog, K.I. and Boekel, M.A.J.S., Kinetic modelling: A tool to predict the formation of acrylamide in potato crisps Food Chemistry, 113, (1), 103-109. 2009.
[5]  East African Standards (EAS). Potato crisps-Specifications. East African Standards 745:2010. 2010.
[6]  Salvador, A., Sanz, T., ands Fiszman S.M., Performance of methyl cellulose in coating batters for fried products. Food Hydrocolloids, 22, 1062–1067. 2008.
[7]  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Some Industrial Chemicals No. 60 IARC, Lyon, France. 1994.
[8]  LoPachin, R. M., The changing view of acrylamide neurotoxicity. Neuro Toxicology, 25, 617-630. 2004.
[9]  Stadler, R. H. and Scholz, G., Acrylamide: An update on current knowledge in analysis, levels in food, mechanisms of formation, and potential strategies of control. Nutrition Reviews, 62, 449-467. 2004.
[10]  Viklund, G. A. I., Olsson, K. M., Sjo ̈holm, I. M., and Skog, K.I., Variety and storage conditions affect the precursor content and amount of acrylamide in potato crisps. Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture, 88, 305-312. 2008.
[11]  Dybing, E., Farmer, P. B., Andersen, M., Fennell, T. R., Lalljie, S. P., Muller, D.J., Olin, S., Petersen, B.J., Schlatter, J., Scholz, G., Scimeca, J.A., Slimani, N., and Tornqvist, M., Tuijtelaars, S., and Verger, P., Human exposure and internal dose assessments of acrylamide in food. Food Chemical Toxicology, 43: 365-410. 2005.
[12]  Konings, E. J. M., Baars, A. J., van Klaveren, J. D., Spanjer, M. C., Rensen, P. M., and Hiemstra, M., Acrylamide exposure from foods of the Dutch population and an assessment of the consequent risks. Journal of Food Chemistry & Toxicology, 41, 1569-1579. 2003.
[13]  Abong’, G. O., Okoth, M.W., Imungi, J.K., and Kabira, J.N., “Consumption patterns, diversity and characteristics of potato crisps in Nairobi, Kenya.” Journal of Applied Biosciences, 32, 1942-1955. 2010.
[14]  Pedreschi, F., Moyano, P.C., Kaack, K., and Granby, K., Color changes and acrylamide formation in fried potato slices. Food Research International, 38, 1-9. 2005.
[16]  AOAC Official methods of analysis, 13th ed., Ass. Off. Anal. Chem., Washington, DC, USA. 1980.
[17]  Abong, George O., Michael W. Okoth, Jasper K. Imungi, and Jackson N. Kabira. “Effect of Slice Thickness and Frying Temperature on Color, Texture and Sensory Properties of Crisps made from Four Kenyan Potato Cultivars.” American Journal of Food Technology 6- 9. 2011.
[18]  U.S. Food & Drug Administration method Detection and Quantitation of Acrylamide in Foods dated June 20, 2002.
[19]  Abong’, G. O., Okoth, M.W., Karuri, E.G., Kabira, J.N and Mathooko, F.M., “Levels of reducing sugars in eight Kenyan potato cultivars as influenced by stage of maturity and storage conditions.” Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 2 (2), 76-84. 2009.
[20]  Olsson, K., Svensson, R., and Roslund, C.-A., “Tuber components affecting acrylamide formation and colour in fried potato: Variation by variety, year, storage temperature, and storage length.” Journal of Science Food & Agriculture, 84, 447-458. 2004.
[21]  De Wilde, T, De Meulenaer, B, Mestdagh, F, Govaert, Y, Vandeburie, S, Ooghe, W, Fraselle, S, Demeulemeester, K, Van, PC, Calus, A, Degroodt, JM & Verhe, R., “Influence of storage practices on acrylamide formation during potato frying.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 53, 6550-6557.2005.
[22]  Santis, N., Mendoza, F., Moyano, P. C., Pedreschi, F., & Dejmek, P. (in press). Soaking in a NaCl solution produce paler potato chips. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und-Technologie. 2007.
[23]  Taubert, D., Harlfinger, S., Henkes, L., Berkels, R., and Schömig, E., “Influence of processing parameters on acrylamide formation during frying of potatoes.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52, 2735-2739. 2004.
[24]  Mottram, D. S., Wedzicha, B. L., and Dodson, A. T., “Acrylamide is formed in the Maillard reaction”. Nature, 419, (6906), 448-449. 2002.
[25]  Arribas-Lorenzo, G., and Morales, F.J. Dietary exposure to acrylamide from potato crisps to the Spanish population. Food Additive and Contaminants, 26: 289-297. 2009.
[26]  World Health Organisation (WHO). FAO/WHO Consultation on the Health Implications of Acrylamide in Food. Summary Report of a meeting held in Geneva, 25-27 June 2002.