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The Associated Press reports that Canadian scientists as well as researchers from Procter & Gamble believe that they have found the reason that acrylamide, a possible cancer-causing substance, is found in starchy foods that are baked or fried at high temperatures.

They apparently suspect that asparagine, a naturally occurring amino acid, will form acrylamide when heated with certain sugars such as glucose. And there is evidence of both asparagine and glucose in the starchy foods being investigated.

Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have said that the possible carcinogenic properties of acrylamides are worth investigating, though neither institution has reached a conclusion at this point.
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