German consumer magazine reveals alarming findings in breakfast flakes testing

A recent investigation conducted by OekoTest, a German consumer magazine, has shed light on dangerous substances found in breakfast flakes. Out of the 48 products tested, only 23 received a positive recommendation, while the rest faced criticism for containing undesirable substances such as acrylamide, glyphosate, and mineral oil components.    

The study focused on a variety of breakfast flakes, including those made from corn, spelt, brown millet, buckwheat, and different types of grain. Surprisingly, some well-known brand products failed to meet the magazine's standards, raising concerns about their quality and safety.    

One of the major concerns highlighted by the study is the presence of acrylamide in breakfast flakes. Acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic substance, is formed when grains are roasted at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius. The roasting temperatures of many flakes tested in the study ranged from 270 to 290 degrees Celsius, significantly increasing the formation of acrylamide. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) classifies acrylamide as potentially carcinogenic, emphasizing the need to reduce its levels in food.    

In addition to acrylamide, the study also pointed out other undesirable ingredients. One of them is mineral oil components, specifically the aromatic mineral oil hydrocarbons MOAH, which can have carcinogenic properties. The presence of MOAH in food is considered concerning, and the study argues that it has no place in the food industry.    

Glyphosate residues were also detected in some of the tested cornflakes. Glyphosate, a controversial weed killer that has just been approved for another ten years in the EU, is classified as "probably carcinogenic" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Furthermore, the study raised concerns about the pesticide deltamethrin, which is classified as "highly dangerous" and poses a threat to important pollinators like bees.
The magazine deducted points for products containing questionable pesticides, especially if multiple residues were found, arguing that, lthough these residues may not be acutely toxic, the long-term health risks associated with their interactions are still not well understood.    

Additionally, the study criticized the high salt content and added vitamins in some breakfast flakes. Excessive salt consumption can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, while added vitamins are deemed unnecessary when a healthy and balanced diet can naturally provide them.    

These findings raise concerns about the quality and safety of breakfast flakes available in the market. The magazine emphasizes the need for stricter regulations and guidelines to ensure that breakfast flakes meet higher standards and do not pose health risks to consumers.