MOH: Levels of carcinogenic substances in Hup Seng, Jacobs, Julie’s biscuits below EU food safety threshold

Biscuits (file photo).

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KUCHING, Oct 28: Carcinogenic substances which can pose a risk to human health detected in Hup Seng, Jacobs and Julie’s biscuits sold in the domestic market are below the benchmark level set by the European Union (EU) Commission Regulation.

Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement disclosed this in response to the CHOICE Magazine’s report on findings on the Hong Kong Consumer Council website that 60 brands of flour confectionery products sold in Hong Kong contains unhealthy levels of acrylamide and glicydol.

Some of the brands mentioned are Malaysian products, including Hup Seng, Jacobs and Julie’s.

“According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), acrylamide and glycidol are carcinogenic substances and can pose a risk to human health.

“Acrylamide is a contaminant that can be produced during food processing or preparation. However, such pollutants can be controlled through the selection of appropriate raw materials and processes,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He said monitoring conducted by the Health Ministry through the Food Safety and Quality Division (BKKM) since 2015 on biscuit products in the local market, including the brands involved, found that the average level of acrylamide is 246 µg/kg (micrograms per kilogram) which is below the benchmark level set by the European Union (EU) Commission Regulation of 350 µg/kg.

“BKKM also conducted a risk assessment on acrylamide and glycidol in food and it showed that the health risk of acrylamide and glycidol through the consumption of biscuits is low,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He said users can get guidance on acrylamide contamination in food from BKKM’s official Facebook page.

Dr Noor Hisham added MOH is always sensitive and concerned about things that can threaten the health of consumers and users can also contact the nearest State Health Department or District Health Office or or the Food Safety and Quality Division on Facebook at concerning issues related to food safety.  — DayakDaily