Used incorrectly, can Airfryers really be toxic to your health (as a Korean study claims)?

It is the leading appliance in our kitchens in recent years: we obviously want to talk about the Airfryer hot air fryer! Praised for its convenience and speed, it is however rumored to be carcinogenic and dangerous to health. Let’s disentangle the true from the false.

It’s a rumor that has been circulating since last year on TikTok and which continues to panic apprentice chefs who love practicality and speed… According to some, hot air fryers, also called “oil-free fryers” OR “air fryer” for lovers of anglicisms, would represent a health hazard of its users. A little reminder for those who have not yet let themselves be won over by the hype: air fryers are in fact appliances that allow you to cook all kinds of food, to reproduce the crunchiness obtained with traditional frying techniques, without having to use a lot of oil and/or fat. They, who should have freed us from the damage of excessive frying, would therefore not be free from dangers…

It was a South Korean study carried out in 2020, then shared on social networks, that alerted some enthusiasts of these hot air fryers. Scientists in this study discovered what these revolutionary devices could be toxic and carcinogenic…So true or false? Let’s see what the experts say.

Fryers release a carcinogenic chemical: acrylamide

During their experiments, the researchers of the Korean Consumer Agency they tested almost ten different fryer models. And their conclusions don’t smell good… Indeed, it seems that these revolutionary fryers they increase the risk of the formation of a toxic and carcinogenic residue: acrylamide. But what is acrylamide? Acrylamide is actually an organic compound that forms when cooking food. It concerns foods rich in sugars, starch, and is created when these are cooked at high temperatures and low humidity. Ingested in large quantities, the affected person’s risk of developing cancer increases.

The Korean scientists thus noticed that the fryers released a much higher level of acrylamide than that recommended by health authorities for frozen French fries: almost more than 200°C and for the maximum cooking time of the “manual” mode of each machine 1,720 µg/kg of acrylamide would have been released, or a rate 3.4 times higher than European standardsAND 1.7 times higher than Korean standards from the south. But even when the chips were cooked according to the air fryers’ instructions, 4 out of 10 still didn’t meet European standards.


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♬ original sound – NaturalX

The data was broadcast by a television service of the channel Arirangthen reshared en masse the Tick ​​tock. But like any technology, it is the excessive and inappropriate use of the air fryer that is actually harmful to your health. In this sense, some doctors or specialists, interviewed by the American and Anglo-Saxon press, want to be more measured and maintain that this is in some very specific cases that acrylamide is released in significant quantities from oil-free fryers. We tell you which ones.

Overcooking or even burning food with thea hot air fryer

As mentioned above, acrylamide is produced when the food is cooked at too high a temperature (over 120°C) and for too long a period. This observation also applies to any type of cooking tool used, and not just oil-free fryers: in 2002, in fact, researchers from Stockholm University suggested that acrylamide could form in number of foods, as long as they are cooked at more than 120°C.

To remedy this, Jim Finley, CEO of a company focused on health, wellness and quality nutrition, advises air fryer users to pay attention to the cooking oil used :

“An important factor to consider when using an air fryer is the type of oil used. While air fryers can reduce the amount of oil needed to cook food, it’s still important to choose a healthy oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil or coconut oil, to minimize buildup of these harmful compounds.”


To maximize your chances of cooking with your hot air fryer safely, you can also follow the cooking advice recommended by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), aimed at reducing risks related to acrylamide.

The fryer lining is damaged or of poor quality

Some fryers are coated with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also called “forever chemicals”. These PFAS are found in the water we drink, in food packaging and even in contact lenses, explains Dr. Karan Rajan, followed by almost 5.3 million followers on TikTok and 1.2 million followers on Instagram. So, he supports it Fryers only become dangerous when the internal lining is damaged:

“As long as you don’t intend to eat the coating on your fryer, you’ll be fine,” he said, adding, “And if you’re really concerned about the nonstick coating, you can use a ceramic or stainless steel coating.” steel air fryer. »1

The sun

It is well noted.


  • 1. SHAW, Isabel, “I’m an NHS GP – You’ve been using the fryer the WRONG way and it can be toxic to your health”, The sunJune 19, 2023
  • HUTCHINGS, Ellie, “Are Air Fryers Toxic? We asked experts for the truth about the TikTok rumors.” Good to knowMay 13, 2023
  • DO O’GOMES, Isabelle, “Acrylamide, a food contaminant to know and avoid”, Science and the futureOctober 20, 2023

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