We carried out a preliminary study on the occurrence of acrylamide in potentially high risk traditional foodstuffs consumed in Zimbabwe. Various studies have shown that acrylamide, a ‘probable human carcinogen’, is formed by high temperature thermal processing of carbohydrate rich foodstuffs (lnternational Agency for Research on Cancer, 1994). Acrylamide concentrations in roasted maize, groundnuts, soy beans and boiled maize were determined using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS). The relative standard deviation of the analytical technique was 5% and the limit of detection was 0.02 µg/kg. Acrylamide was not detected in boiled maize. Roasted maize contained 450 µg/kg acrylamide. Roasted groundnuts had 140 µg/kg and finally, roasted soybeans with a concentration of 70 µg/kg acrylamide.
Key words: Acrylamide, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS), maize, groundnuts, soybeans, Zimbabwean traditional foods.
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