A new study has found that soaking potatoes in water before frying them can reduce levels of acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical that is thought to be harmful to health.
Acrylamide occurs when starch rich foods are cooked at high temperatures and is also said to cause cancer in animals.
Now, research led by Dr Rachel Burch from Leatherhead Food International has found that simply soaking the potatoes before frying can dramatically reduce acrylamide formation, therefore also lowering the risk it may pose.
"There has been much research done by the food industry looking at reducing acrylamide in products but less so on foods cooked at home and we wanted to explore ways of reducing the level of acrylamide in home cooking," she said.
The study found that washing raw French fries, soaking them for 30 mins and soaking them for 2 hours reduced the formation of acrylamide by up to 23pct, 38pct and 48pct respectively.
However, this is only if they are fried to a lighter colour and not a deep, dark brown.