(Yicai Global) April 2 -- Starbucks Corp. is not the only firm left reeling after a California judge ruled that the addictive morning drink should carry a cancer warning label in the state.
Cancer-causing acrylamide is the result of the roasting process, and is not added by coffee makers or present in raw beans, Science and Technology Daily reported. The topic has been a major trend on Chinese social media, with many netizens zoning in on the biggest name in coffee.
The ruling will not only affect Starbucks, but food producers, too. Kraft Foods Group Inc., Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., The J.M. Smucker Co. and even McDonald’s Corp. were all included in the list of defendants, the report added.
Acrylamide is a common white crystal compound that is formed when a Maillard reaction, one between amino acids and reducing sugars, takes place. It can be found in fries, barley tea and other roasted and fried dishes. Any kind of food containing starch and an amino acid will produce a trace of acrylamide when cooked if the temperature hits 120 degrees, said Fan Zhihong, an associate professor at the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering under China Agricultural University.
The China Food and Drug Administration issued safety tips last year on how to control the amount of acrylamide produced during food processing, with a particular focus on fried bread sticks, a popular Chinese breakfast dish.