If you’re into cookery and like to dabble in the newest technologies, then air fryers are your next conquest.
But there’s no honey without bees.
So air fryers can give you headaches if you’re looking for air fryers but end up in a carcinogenic post – quite literally!
What and whys of air fryers
An air fryer literally fries with air – a wave of hot air will blow around your food covered in oil and fry it. What the officials call it is the Maillard reaction.
If you’re a fan of fried foods like I am, then you’d have to be in love with that distinctive brownish layer at the topmost part of the food. It is the lovechild of reducing sugars and amino acids. All fried foods, cakes, cookies have it. This is the main motivation behind deep frying and an air fryer accomplishes this by circulating hot air all around the targeted food.
In the normal deep frying, your food will be surrounded by hot boiling oil and the object to be fried is submerged in oil, the Maillard reaction takes place. In an air fryer, the food to be deep-fried is coated in a thin layer of oil, not submerged, and hot air provides a heated atmosphere. So the deep frying is emulated with exceedingly heated air.
What causes cancer
While we’re discussing air fryer’s connection to cancers and stuff we must have a clear cut view of cancer and its causes. Cancer is unnatural growth of cells due to the gene mutation. But researches have indicated connection and increased risk of cancer between many factors. One of which is RADIATION.
Radiation is one of the well-known carcinogens known to men. High energy radiation such as gamma radiation or x-ray is called ionizing radiation. These are known to alter state at the atomic level. Form a medical viewpoint, this can alter DNA and can contribute to causing cancer. Gene mutation is the underlying cause of all cancer situations and radiation of this nature can mutate genes.
The ionizing radiation can alter atoms by changing the outermost electron. This causes a mutation in cells. Thus radiation can increase cancer risk. There are more factors other than radiation responsible for the increased chance of cancer such as carcinogens, smoking or hormones to name a few but for this section, we will not need to discuss them.
Radiation and Air Fryers
Looking back to the air fryer, if the fryer causes cancer it is through either radiation poisoning or carcinogens. To understand how it might affect us in a harmful way we’d have to understand how it works first.
How The Air Fryer Fries
Okay, so this is how it’s done-
- A heater produces heat, or more accurately heated air. Then a fan would circulate that heated air throughout the apparatus.
- For the amount of oil needed, only a spoonful of oil is sufficient for any food you are willing to cook. You only need to cover the whole food in a layer of oil to reproduce the Maillard effect.
- The heat is essentially a type of radiation. But not ionizing or the type that is harmful or contributes to cancer.
Carcinogens are materials that can increase your chances of cancer too. While we are talking about air fryers, one carcinogen needs to be discussed in detail – acrylamide. Acrylamide may increase your cancer risk. It is found mostly on oil fried foods such as French fries.
Air Fryers and Acrylamide
As acrylamide is found in nearly every oil fried product, an air fryer is naturally connected with acrylamide. Normally acrylamide is found in plastics and foods that are processed at really high temperatures. Deep-fried French fry has traces of acrylamide in them. But that I nothing to be afraid of at all. In fact, air fryer is your savior in this case. Studies have shown that air frying your dishes can actually be a blessing when it comes to acrylamide. While cooking fries, for example, you can reduce the amount of acrylamide to as low as ten percent according to research from the Journal of Food and Science.
So, Cancerous or Not?
So the question comes down to air fryers being a catalyst for cancers or not. While looking into the working mechanism of an air fryer, it is not responsible for radiation so we’re clear in that way – no hard evidence to charge air fryer guilty.
Only carcinogens remain to be discussed. Acrylamide does not come into play and even it does a minimal amount it is not proven itself as high impacting carcinogen so you can breathe your sigh of relief.
Does your air fryer cause cancer? No, it definitely does not!
Other Concerns Relating to Your Favorite Fryer
Cancer is a big word in our daily life. This monster in the closet is yet to be defeated by modern medicine. Your latest air fryer upgrade is not responsible for cancer. But is it healthy in other aspects?
The air fryer comes with a manual, please consult it not to burn your food! The dark part that is caused by over frying may contain previously mentioned acrylamide, so avoid burning and consuming burned crusts.
While it comes to obesity, fried fast food is probably one of the main reasons behind it. Depp fried products are deeply dipped into oil whereas your air fryer can do the trick in a minimum of a single tablespoon of oil. So air fried food is actually healthier on this account!
Air fryers are here to stay! With its brand new technology and less oily method for frying it is highly profitable to invest in an air fryer right now! But don’t forget one thing, high temperature fried food is never an alternative to a lightly home-cooked meal