Pringles — the name probably brings back the memory of the chip’s luscious flavors, mouth-watering aroma, and appetizing appearance. Since it's available in the market since 1968, many feel the snack was a part of their childhood.
So deep is our attachment with Pringles that 4.4 million Americans consumed 8 or more bags in 2020.
But how much do you know your Pringles? Did you know that you are stepping closer to death with each potato chip you have?
Here we’ll unveil how Pringles is unhealthy for you. Before that, let’s look at its nutritional value.
Nutritional Value of Pringles
There are several concerns regarding the fat content in Pringles (or potato chips, in general).
You can dismiss such worries now, as it’s clear from the nutritional chart that about 16 pieces of chips give you only 150 calories (approx.). Compared with the Daily Value%, this potato chips brand seems to contribute safe amounts of fat, cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals.
Ingredients of Pringles
Dried potatoes, de-germinated yellow corn flour, cornstarch, rice flour, mixed vegetable oil of corn, cottonseed, high oleic soybean, and/or sunflower oil, mono- and diglycerides, maltodextrin, salt, and wheat starch.
Pringles has a decent ingredients list devoid of harmful elements, except maltodextrin.
Maltodextrin, a highly-processed carbohydrate, has a higher GI (Glycemic Index) than sugar — which means the body can readily absorb it. This trait can cause a spike in sugar levels when had. Therefore, Pringles isn’t a suitable snack for diabetic people.
Also, this compound has high sugar, low fiber and is profoundly processed — increasing the risk of cholesterol and weight gain.
Even though Maltodextrin is bad, it’s not as lethal as Acrylamide — a byproduct of the processing of potato chips.
Acrylamide — The Compound Pringles is Hiding
Acrylamide is a carcinogen, i.e., cancer-causing compound, formed as a byproduct of cooking in high temperatures, like frying, baking, and roasting. The compounds asparagine and reducing sugars in potatoes react with each other at high cooking temperatures.
The FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) hasn’t specified a maximum daily intake limit for acrylamide. However, the organization has given out several guidelines to companies to enhance their product quality by reducing acrylamide formation.
The FDA has been conducting surveys and tests regularly since 2002 to mitigate acrylamide levels in potato chips and other food items. Recent surveys show that acrylamide production in potato chips and crackers has decreased considerably. Therefore, they are continuing with their efforts to educate companies and help them decrease acrylamide in food.
If you’re keen to know more about what the FDA guidelines are, check this out.
On the other hand, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has issued a range of acrylamide limits for different food items. The organization decided potato chips shouldn’t have more than 750 μg of acrylamide in a kg.
In addition to this limit, they have suggested a few methods to reduce the acrylamide levels in their products. These guidelines cover potato selection, dimensions, design, and final product attributes.
Wondering how much acrylamide Pringles in the USA contain?
The figure in the above image is in ppb (Parts Per Billion). Since 1 ppb = 1 μg/kg, Pringles Original has 570 μg/kg of acrylamide. Even though this amount can be considered safe, we should remember that it’s best we eliminate acrylamide from food.
So, we can say that Pringles (or any other potato chips) consumption could cause cancer.
Apart from potato chips, Acrylamide is found in cakes, bread, maize, oats, and several other food items. And you can easily cross the limit if you don’t watch what you eat.
Moreover, why should you even have a little acrylamide?
It has no nutritional value and is cancerous.
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