If you like your french fries burnt to a crisp, you might want to adjust your taste preferences.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued new guidelines about burned food like fries. Foods cooked at high temperatures for too long may contain higher levels of acrylamide, a chemical that's been found to cause cancer in animals.
According to FDA chemist Lauren Robin, acrylamide forms more often in plant-based foods, like potatoes, cereals and dried fruits during the frying and baking process. The chemical materializes from sugars and an amino acid that is naturally found in these kinds of foods.
It's virtually impossible to completely avoid acrylamide, since the compound is found in about 40 percent of the calories the average American eats, according to the Grocery Manufacturer's Association. But, there are some ways to cut down on the potentially cancerous substance.
First, don't store your potatoes in the refrigerator. Doing so can increase acrylamide during the cooking process, according to the American Cancer Society. (It'll also compromise the taters' flavor.)
Instead, spuds should be kept outside of the fridge in a dark, dry place. When cooking potato and plant-based items, aim for a yellow or golden brown shade rather than brown. The brown areas may contain more of the chemical. The same goes for bread: It should be toasted to a light brown color and should not be blackened.