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Are All Air Fryers Cancerous? (Check out)

Air fryers have recently gained popularity as a result of rising health consciousness and continued demand for fried foods. Americans consume more potatoes than any other vegetable, with frozen products such as french fries accounting for 40% of this total.

Air fryer manufacturers promote their products as a way to prepare and enjoy fried foods without the negative health effects associated with oil-fried foods. Air-fried foods contain less fat than deep-fried foods, making them potentially healthier.

Although Air fryers do not cause cancer on their own, the risk of cancer is dependent on the food you choose and how it is prepared in an Air fryer.

In this blog, I will be examining the evidence to determine whether the advantages of using an air fryer outweigh the risks so that you can make a sound choice for your air fryer.

How Do Air Fryers Work?

egg tarts being cooked in air fryer
Cooking in an air fryer is less costly

An air fryer is a popular kitchen appliance for frying foods like meat, pastries, and potato chips.

Air fryers are different from deep fryers in that they function as countertop convection ovens. The appliance uses a fan to circulate tiny oil droplets and hot air around the food to heat it. The crispiness is achieved by removing fluid from the food during the process.

This causes a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction to occur. It occurs when an amino acid and a reducing sugar react in the presence of heat, resulting in color and flavor changes in foods.

Are Air Fryers Unhealthy?

Air-fried foods are promoted as a healthier alternative to deep-fried foods due to their lower fat and calorie content.

Instead of completely immersing the food in oil, air-frying uses only a tablespoon (15 mL) of oil to achieve almost the same taste and texture as deep-fried foods. A fried chicken breast, for example, contains more fat than an equal amount of roasted chicken.

This is because air fryers use far less fat to cook than traditional deep fryers. While many deep-fried recipes call for up to 3 cups (750 mL) of oil, air-fried foods only require about 1 tablespoon (15 mL).

Deep fryers use up to 50 times the amount of oil as air fryers. Even if the food does not absorb all of the oil, using an air fryer reduces the overall fat content significantly.

Why Do Air Fryers Have A Cancer Warning?

nurse helping a cancer patient cope up
Air fryers do not purposefully cause cancer

Some air fryers have cancer warnings because of the production of acrylamide. Acrylamide can increase the risk of developing cancer in humans.

However, acrylamide is a chemical compound known as a 2A Carcinogen. Since its potential element that can cause cancer is covered in California’s Proposition 65, thus the warning prop 65 that you see on air fryers.

In humans, acrylamide has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Because of its potential to cause birth defects or other adverse effects on human reproduction, Proposition 65 prohibits the use of acrylamide. The development of a fetus and the male reproductive system may be harmed.

Acrylamide is produced when starchy food like potatoes and bread is cooked at a very high temperature. For potatoes to avoid producing acrylamide you can soak them in water and cook them evenly.

Now, there can be 5 things that you can do to avoid high acrylamide production in an air fryer:

Keep At a Low Temperature

Keeping the air fryer at a high temperature and cooking starchy vegetables would result in acrylamide production, as a result, your food will not be cooked evenly.

Cooking at a low temperature will help reduce the formation of acrylamide and your food can also cook evenly.

Don’t Use It Too Often

Well, since it’s such an outstanding appliance, it might need a lot of maintenance if it’s being used regularly. It may require cleaning daily so the oil leftover is not reheated which can result in cancer too.

In my opinion, using an air fryer once a week can be beneficial to you and will be worth your money.

Use Air Fryer With Stainless Steel Or Ceramic Coating

There are many kinds of air fryers on the market as of right now. However, air fryers that are stainless steel or ceramic coating are safer than non-stick because the non-stick may release many harmful products if they are heated at very high temperatures.

Cook Food Evenly

Cooking food evenly may require you to brush the food with little droplets of oil. If the food is cooked unevenly it may produce harmful products such as glycation end products.

One tip to cook your food evenly is flipping the food halfway through when cooking.

Avoid Pre Heating

When it comes to preheating it doesn’t make sense, you don’t want to burn your food, instead, you are looking to cook it evenly. Often pre-heating may lead your food to cook unevenly which in turn may end up producing harmful chemicals again.

Turn Off Timer

If your food has been cooked it’s best to turn your air fryer right away so there is no burning of the food or smoke coming out of the fryer. One great way is to set a timer aside when you cook food in an air fryer to prevent it from burning.

Which Air Fryer Does Not Cause Cancer?

BrandsPrice
Cosori Air Fryer$119.99
Ninja Max XL Air Fryer$149.99
Instant Vortex Plus$139.00
Chefman 6.8 qtNot available
Big Boss Oil Nontoxic Air FryerNot available
List of nontoxic air fryers

Can You Get Cancer From Using Air Fryer?

No, you can not get cancer from an air fryer.

At least not in my opinion, and not when you use it correctly. Using an air fryer is a very simple process. All you have to do is put up the timer and temperature for how brown and crispy you want it.

However, I’d suggest you avoid vegetables that are starchy, so that would cut out the possibilities of acrylamide production. Cleaning should be your topmost priority after every use so that the oil is not re-heated and crumbs are not overcooked and burnt out.

Here’s what you should know about acrylamide:

What is Acrylamide?

Air Fryer Vs. Deep Frying

The amount of oil used in air frying and deep frying differs, and the use of oil (especially reheated oil) raises some health concerns.

Longer cooking times, on the other hand, may result in increased carcinogen formation. We will look at various factors to consider when weighing the benefits of air frying as a cooking method.

Possible Cancer Risks from Using an Air Fryer and Possible Solutions

Let me go over the potential cancer risks and their solutions in more detail.

Increased Consumption of Processed Food

Consuming a lot of processed food has the potential to make you fat.

Obesity (a medical term for fat) has been linked to an increase in cancer incidence and is a risk factor for 12 different types of cancer.

Solution- I know you enjoy air-fried fries and processed meat, but restrain your intake of these foods. If you must eat french fries, always use an air fryer rather than deep frying in oil.

Acrylamide Can Be Produced by Air Frying

When starchy foods like potatoes and bread are cooked at elevated temperatures, they produce acrylamide.

Acrylamide is a potentially carcinogenic chemical (also named carcinogens). They can cause specific mutations in humans, which can lead to the expansion of cancer.

Solution- To reduce the acrylamide content, use a specific cooking method with an Air Fryer. The risk of acrylamide intake can be reduced by adjusting the cooking time and temperature.

Reheating Oil

Another hazardous practice is failing to extract grease and oil droplets after cooking fatty foods. Simply put, reheat the oil in the Air fryer.

Heating cooking oil constantly (no matter how much) results in the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

They cause changes in your cells and have been correlated to breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer.

Cancer is induced by inhaling fumes from reused oils as well as consuming reheated oils.

Solution- The good news is that wiping away the oil buildups reduces the risk of the oil reheating inside the air fryer. As a result, because air fryers use so little oil, it’s simple to clean up afterward.

Pros and Cons of Using an Air Fryer

pros and cons on a sign board

Well, air fryers have many pros and cons attached to them. Let’s look at the nitty details of both of them:

Pros Of Air Fryer

  • An air fryer cooks much more quickly than an oven or stovetop. Because the majority of the heat remains inside, it can preheat in minutes. During the cooking process, no heat is released into the atmosphere. Constant circulation only intensifies it, cooking even frozen foods in record time.
  • Because of the compact nature of an air fryer, you won’t have to worry about your kitchen turning into a sauna in the summer, as a conventional oven would. Because it is so small, it does not require much power to operate. So you’re not only cooking faster, but you’re also using less energy.
  • Deep-fried foods are drenched in oil, which is unhealthy. Air fryers use oil, but not nearly as much as conventional fryers. Excess oil drains from the food, which is ideal for some of the naturally oilier snacks that have become a staple in the American diet.
  • Air fryers are typically small, about the size of a toaster. It’s ideal for smaller kitchens, such as those in apartments. An air fryer would be ideal in an RV or camper for cooking on the go or at a campsite.

Cons Of An Air Fryer

  • Many newcomers are confused by the short cooking time. Because you usually fry between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, a few minutes can mean the difference between a perfectly crispy fried food and a black flavorless hockey puck.
  • However, even though it is a delightfully compact appliance, you must be concerned about the amount of food it can produce. Air fryers are typically used to cook for one to four people. If you’re cooking for a large family or several guests, the small basket of an air fryer is unlikely to produce enough food in a single session. You’ll have to cook in batches, which is never enjoyable.
  • The danger of leaving your air fryer on is not limited to burning. Your meal could quickly dry out if you don’t keep an eye on it. This is due to a lack of oil. The oil in a deep fryer keeps your food moist on the inside while crisping on the outside. In this regard, air fryers must be closely monitored.

How Do I Reduce Acrylamide Production In Potatoes?

We all know how crazy we are when it comes to having french fries. One can have them at any time of the day. So there could be a few ways to reduce acrylamide production in potatoes. Let’s look into them:

  • Keep your potatoes out of the refrigerator. The amount of acrylamide in potatoes increases when they are stored in the refrigerator at low temperatures. Potatoes should be stored at room temperature rather than frozen. Our grandmothers were correct on this one.
  • If you soak the potatoes in water for some time before cooking, it will remove a lot of starch and sugar content that influences the formation of acrylamide.
  • Cooking on high heat should be avoided. According to Nicholas Lee, a personal health leader in Philips ASEAN Pacific, “the best temperature to cook fries or frozen food is 180 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower”. He also recommends cooking fresh potatoes at 160°C for the first half and 180°C for the second half.
  • According to one study, pretreating french fries with a solution of citric acid, glycine, calcium lactate, and other ingredients before air frying reduced the production of acrylamide in potatoes.

Summary

  • Air fryers are taking over the market by storm. They help you cook with less oil so you can manage your diet.
  • There is plenty of air fryer which are nontoxic on the market.
  • Cleaning an air fryer and maintaining it will help you avoid cancer.
  • However, the air fryer has its pros and cons that determine whether the air fryer is worth it or not.
  • Acrylamide production can be avoided by some tips given above.

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