Purpose: Particularly in Africa where most carbohydrate-based foods are subjected to varying degrees of thermal processing and consumed as staple diets almost on daily basis, reports on its occurrence is rather too limited. As such, African populations may be exposed to high levels of ACR daily. This study thus provides an overview of the formation, occurrence and health impact of ACR in foods in an African context. It further explored previous studies looking at ACR reduction and mitigation strategies, especially those that may be applicable in the continent.
Methods: An exhaustive review of the literature was done on the formation, health impacts and occurrence of ACR in foods in other regions of the world including Africa. Possible mitigation strategies that can be applied in the continent was also appraised.
Results: Very few studies on ACR in foods have been reported in the continent, despite the different heat related processing of carbohydrate-rich foods that are daily consumed. Possible reduction strategies were also proposed that could help reduce the menace of ACR contamination in African foods. Adequate sensitization of the populace about the prevention of ACR as a food contaminant is however essential to ensure the safety of heat processed carbohydrate-rich foods in the continent.
Significance: This study demonstrated the need for concerted efforts and research towards ACR contamination in Africa.