No, Air Fryers do not cause cancer. The high heat used in air frying can create acrylamide, a chemical that may increase cancer risk, but the levels of acrylamide formed are not considered harmful. Using an air fryer in moderation and consuming a balanced diet can minimize any potential risks of cancer.
Worried that your Air Fryer can cause Cancer?
If you’re one of the many people who recently purchased an air fryer, you might be concerned about how it will affect your health.
You might be particularly worried about whether using an air fryer can cause cancer. These are valid concerns, and it’s important to understand the scientific evidence behind them. In this blog, we’ll talk about all aspects of air fryers and cancer.
We’ll show you the latest research and help you make a decision about how using an air fryer might affect your health.
Investigating Claims of a Link between Air Fryers and Cancer
Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer a healthier alternative to traditional deep frying. However, there have been claims that using an air fryer could increase the risk of developing cancer. So, is there any truth to these claims?
What Research Says about Air Fryers and Cancer
Studies have revealed that heating oils for extended periods at a high temperature can result in the formation of harmful polar molecules like polymers, dimers, free fatty acids, and acrylamide.  These harmful substances have the potential to alter human metabolism and raise cancer risk.  Similar to deep fat frying, but with less oil and polar chemicals, the air-frying method employs high heat to cook food.
A study by the University of California found that air fryers emit ionizing radiation, which has the potential to cause cancer. Air fryers generate a type of radiation that can be harmful to human health, even if the study did not discover a direct connection between air fryers and cancer. So, they advised that it is best to use air fryers carefully and limit how often you use them. 
The Hong Kong Consumer Association did another study to let people know that using oil-free fryers could be bad for their health. The association found that half of the 12 brands tested produced high levels of carcinogenic acrylamide, which is 13 times more than the allowed limit according to EU standards. 
According to a study, heating food in air fryers at high temperatures can lead to the production of chemicals like acrylamide and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that have been linked to cancer. It’s important to remember that air-fried food still contains only small amounts of acrylamide and HCAs, and there is thought to be no overall risk of cancer from using air fryers.
So, Air Fryers Really Cause Cancer?
A rising number of people are worried that air fryers may cause cancer because they produce acrylamide. This claim has been backed up on social media and in online forums, making many people worry about how safe air fryers are. Most of the time, the idea that air fryer cause cancer is based on personal experience or opinion, not on facts.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that scientific evidence does not back up this claim. Although acrylamide has been linked to an elevated risk of cancer in animal studies, there is currently no proof that air fryers cause cancer in people. 
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has put acrylamide in Group 2A of cancer-causing substances.  This grouping is based on the results of many scientific studies that show a possible link between eating acrylamide and getting cancer. To fully understand how dangerous, it is to eat acrylamide, more research is needed because the evidence is still not enough.
Several scientific studies, including ones published in 2018 and 2019 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention and the International Journal of Cancer, back up the claim that air fryer causes cancer. These studies found that eating fried foods doesn’t increase a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. 
Another study looked into amount of acrylamide formation in air frying and compared it with deep frying and found out that air fried food resulted in more nutrient, less acrylamide and consumed less oil compared to deep frying. 
The assertion that air fryers may cause cancer seems to have its roots in 2015. The study was published in the journal Food Chemistry. It looked at the levels of acrylamide in several dishes that were cooked both traditionally and in an air fryer. Although the study discovered that some air-fried items had higher acrylamide levels, the amounts were still below safe ranges and did not represent a serious health concern.
So, What Causes Cancer then?
Genetic mutations, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices are just a few of the complex factors that can cause cancer.  Consuming processed and red meats, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and foods low in fruits and vegetables can all increase your risk of cancer. 
When food is cooked or grilled at high temperatures, harmful compounds such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can form.  Another common compound that can form during high-temperature cooking or frying of food is acrylamide, which is considered a carcinogen.
So, what is this Chemical called Acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical compound characterized as a water-soluble crystalline solid, C3H5NO, that forms during high-temperature cooking processes from the reaction between sugars and asparagine in starchy foods, and it has been classified as a potential human carcinogen. [15, 16]
Although air fryers can cut down on acrylamide formation by moving hot air and using less oil, it is important to remember that they may not be able to stop it completely. Choosing ingredients with less acrylamide, pre-treating some foods, cutting food into even sizes, cooking at lower temperatures, cooking for less time, and trying with different coatings are all good ways to reduce acrylamide.
Is there a safe level of acrylamide?
Researchers are still trying to figure out how much acrylamide is safe to be around. As a precaution, governing agencies suggest limiting its use because it might cause cancer. Even though there isn’t a set safe amount, using healthy cooking methods and staying up to date on scientific findings can help reduce exposure.
Factors that Contribute to Acrylamide Formation
#1 High Cooking Temperatures
#2 Longer Cooking Times
The chances of acrylamide forming go up with longer cooking times. 
#3 Browning and crisping
Foods that are deep-fried or roasted, which brown and crisp the food, are more likely to make acrylamide.
#4 Starch Content
Foods like potatoes and grains that have a lot of starch are more likely to turn into acrylamide. 
#5 Sugars and Amino Acids
The presence of sugars (glucose and fructose) and certain amino acids (asparagine) in food products helps acrylamide form. 
#6 Storage and Shelf Life
Some foods can make more acrylamide if they are kept for a long time, especially at room temperature. 
The type of cooking utensil
The type of cooking utensil used can also influence acrylamide formation. Cooking utensils made of nonstick materials, such as Teflon, may raise the risk of acrylamide formation.
The Science Behind Air Fryers
Popular kitchen appliances called air fryers to cook food by frying it in hot air, giving it a crispy texture akin to traditional frying techniques. The cooking process in air fryers works by moving hot air around the food to cook it and give it a crispy surface. Using a heating element and a fan to move the hot air around the food is accomplished.
Air frying is a healthier alternative to regular frying because it uses far less oil and fat. This is so that food doesn’t end up with a high calorie and fat content from typical frying techniques, which entail putting food in hot oil. Contrarily, air frying uses little to no oil at all, thus lowering the number of calories and fat in the food.
Air frying has the additional advantage of producing less acrylamide, a chemical that can occur when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, such as when deep frying. Even though the data on people isn’t clear, studies on animals have linked acrylamide to a higher risk of cancer. By using hot air instead of hot oil, air fryers reduce the amount of acrylamide by a lot.
What Are the Risks of Using Air Fryers?
#1 Acrylamide formation
Air fryers cook food at high temperatures, which can result in the formation of acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic substance. When cooked in an air fryer, foods like French fries, potato chips, and breaded chicken can contain high levels of acrylamide.
#2 Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
High-temperature cooking can also result in the formation of AGEs, which have been linked to a variety of chronic diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
#3 Fume inhalation
When cooking, air fryers can emit fumes that can be harmful to inhale, especially for those with respiratory issues such as asthma.
#4 Nonstick coatings
Some air fryers have nonstick coatings that contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to a variety of health issues, including cancer and reproductive issues.
#5 Excessive reliance on unhealthy foods
While air fryers can be used to cook healthier foods such as vegetables and lean proteins, they are frequently marketed as a way to make fried foods healthier. This can lead to an unhealthy reliance on fried foods, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.
Air Frying Safety Tips
If you’re new to air frying or just want to refresh your safety knowledge, these top tips will help you use your air fryer safely and effectively.
#1 Choosing a Secure Location
An air fryer’s location is critical for safe and efficient operation. Place it on a flat, stable, and heat-resistant surface that is away from flammable materials.
#2 Choosing the Best Air Fryer
Because not all air fryers are created equal, look for reputable brands and models with safe baskets made of stainless steel or ceramic-coated steel.
#3 Cleaning and maintenance
Keep your air fryer clean and well-maintained to make sure it is safe to use. I clean my air fryer after each use.
#4 Avoid cooking at High Temperature
Cook at lower temperatures and don’t go above 370 degrees Fahrenheit to stop chemicals like acrylamide from forming that are likely to induce cancer.
#5 Limit How Often You Use an Air Fryer
If you want to be exposed to less ionizing radiation, you should limit how often you use an air fryer. Around 2-3 times a week might be good practice.
#6 Avoid Overcooking
Overcooking or burning food can result in the formation of HCAs and acrylamide, which can be harmful to one’s health.
#7 Use the Air Fryer for Quick Meals
Instead of using the air fryer as a primary cooking method, use it for quick and easy meals.
#8 Keep Children Away
Keep the air fryer out of the reach of children and pets.
#9 Do Not Touch the Heating Element
Do not touch the heating element of the air fryer while it is in use or has recently been used.
#10 Don’t Overfill the Basket
To avoid accidents and uneven cooking, don’t overfill the air fryer basket.
#11 Do Not Use Metal Utensils
Do not clean the air fryer basket or other accessories with metal utensils or abrasive sponges.
#12 Never Use an Air Fryer Without a Basket
Never use the air fryer without the basket or any of its components.
#13 Do Not Try to Repair
Do not try to repair or modify the air fryer on your own. If repairs are required, contact the manufacturer or a qualified technician.
How to Choose a Safe Air Fryer: Tips for Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Air Fryers
There are many popular air fryers on the market with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) non-stick coatings, which can be hazardous to one’s health. As a result, it can be difficult to distinguish between air fryers that are safe and those that are not. While air fryers that are certified as PFAS-free are safe to use, chemicals such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and PFAS are known to have serious health consequences.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent purchasing an air fryer that contains harmful chemicals. The first thing to remember is to avoid air fryers that include PTFE, PFOA, and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). GenX, a substance that the Environmental Protection Agency has determined to be dangerous, has been used by some producers in place of PFOA.
It is advised to choose an air fryer that is PFOS- and PFOA-free and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By doing this, you can be sure that the appliance you are buying is really safe to use. In addition, there are lots of little air fryers on the market that provide secure cooking alternatives, letting you make healthy food without worrying.
Due to their quicker heating times and lower energy use, air fryers are typically thought to be more energy-efficient than deep fryers or conventional ovens. Also, due to their smaller size, air fryers may be used to prepare meals in smaller quantities, which minimizes waste and conserves energy.
Is there a Specific Type of Oil that can Cause Cancer in Air Fryers?
When used in an air fryer, no specific type of oil is known to be carcinogenic. However, consuming too much or the wrong kinds of oil can result in heart disease, obesity, and excessive cholesterol, among other health problems.
It’s crucial to use an oil with a high smoke point when using an air fryer, such as avocado oil, peanut oil, or canola oil. These oils are less likely to break down and make dangerous chemicals when they are exposed to high temperatures.
Moreover, it is advised to use oil sparingly when air frying. You might be able to get good outcomes in a lot of situations without applying any oil at all. Moreover, think about cooking your meal in other ways, such as baking, grilling, or steaming, that don’t require any additional oil.
Does Air Frying with Olive Oil Cause Cancer?
Using olive oil for air frying does not have any known links to causing cancer. Several scientific studies suggest, in fact, that eating olive oil may help prevent cancer. However, it is too soon to definitively conclude that olive oil is a cancer-preventative measure.
How Air Frying can be a better alternative than Deep Frying?
According to a study by the American Cancer Society, eating fried food may increase your risk of developing cancer. The study, which involved over 4,000 participants, found that those who ate more fried food were more likely to get cancer.
Although the link between fried food and cancer is not fully understood, the study’s lead author believes that it is likely due to the high fat and calorie content of fried food.
To reduce the risk of cancer, it is recommended to avoid or limit fried food consumption and opt for healthier alternatives like air-fried food, which has less fat and calories. An air fryer could be a good investment for those seeking a healthier way to cook their meals.
Do air fryers have negative health effects?
Since they use less oil and fat than conventional frying techniques, air fryers are typically seen as a healthier cooking alternative. The ingredients you choose and the way you prepare them, as with any cooking method, determine how healthy the meal you cook in an air fryer is.
Using fresh, unprocessed products and avoiding processed or packaged foods is crucial. Your air fryer may also be kept from being a health danger with regular cleaning and maintenance.
Does using an air fryer lead to respiratory issues?
Air fryers don’t release any toxic chemicals or fumes that could hurt your lungs. But it’s crucial to use your air fryer in a well-ventilated space to prevent breathing in any hot air or steam that might be produced while it’s cooking.
Are there any risks related to air fryers?
Air fryers can be dangerous if not handled properly, just like any other kitchen device. Burns, fire risks, and electrical shock are a few of the most frequent risks connected with air fryers. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer, keep the equipment clean and free of clutter, and use it in a safe way to reduce these risks. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer, keep the equipment clean and free of clutter, and use it in a safe way to reduce these risks.
What advantages come with utilizing an air fryer?
Compared to traditional ways of frying, air fryers have many benefits, such as less fat and calories, shorter cooking times, and less mess and cleanup. Air fryers can also be used for a number of other cooking methods, such as roasting, baking, and grilling.
Can I bake in an air fryer?
You may bake a number of dishes in air fryers, including bread, cookies, and cakes. But it’s crucial to baking at the right temperature, for the right amount of time, and with the right equipment.
Can I cook frozen food in an air fryer?
You can easily and rapidly cook frozen food in air fryers. When cooking frozen food, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as you need to preheat air fryer.
First, unplug your air fryer and let it cool completely before cleaning it. The basket and tray should then be removed and cleaned in warm, soapy water. Use a moist cloth to clean the interior and outside of the equipment, and then completely dry it before storing it.
What types of food can I cook in an air fryer?
You may cook a wide range of items in air fryers, including vegetables, meats, seafood, and even desserts. But it’s important to follow the directions and cook times and temperatures that the manufacturer gives for each type of food.
Can air fryers replace traditional frying methods?
Although air fryers have a number of advantages over conventional frying techniques, they might not be able to fully take their place. In an air fryer, some meals, such as those that have been battered or breaded, might not cook as well. Nevertheless, some individuals might enjoy the flavor and texture of conventionally fried items.
There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that air fryers cause cancer.
Healthy Air Fryer Recipe with less to no Acrylamide
Recipe 1: Fried okra in air fryer
Recipe 2: Baked Sweet Potato in air fryer
Recipe 3: Japanese sweet potato fries in air fryer