Half of air fryers tested contain safety hazards and half of the food samples cooked contain high carcinogenic substances

German Pool air fryer

17th February 2021 – (Hong Kong) An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil. A fan circulates hot air  at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions such as the Maillard reaction. Some reviews have found that regular convection ovens or convection toaster ovens produce better results. It is the new favourite of kitchen appliances in recent years.

The Consumer Council tested the electrical safety and performance of 12 air fryer models and found that half of them have different safety hazards, including excessive temperature rise of components, insufficient insulation distance, poor grounding devices, etc. The effects of air frying different foods also varied. Half of the samples of French fries contained carcinogenic substances higher than EU standards. The prices of the 12 gas fryer models tested ranged from HK$298 to HK$2,080 with a total score of 3.5 to 4.5 points.

In terms of the effect of cooking food, the overall performance of each sample is roughly the same, with 9 models reaching 3.5 points or above, but the effects of air-fried frozen French fries are inconsistent. Only Tefal, Philips, and Proluxury scored between 4.5 points and 5 points; while Tastec, Harrow and German Pool failed to cook French fries properly. Midea and TSK had uneven heat during air frying. In view of health risks, if you cook potatoes and other foods that contain higher “free asparagine” with less water than 120 degrees Celsius, it is easy to produce “acrylamide” that may cause cancer.

According to the instructions, the Consumer Council conducted tests on frozen fries and found that Proluxury, Denki, Midea, Imarflex, ecHome, and TSK contained higher levels of acrylamide than EU standards. Among them, Imarflex exceeded the benchmark by 13 times. The Consumer Council reminds consumers to eat air-fried foods in moderation, and adjust the cooking time and temperature according to the amount to reduce the risk of acrylamide intake. The Consumer Council also refers to the latest version of the international safety standards to test temperature rise, insulation distance, grounding measures, structure and labelling instructions. In terms of temperature rise, the test found that the highest surface temperature rises measured by the handles of ecHome and German Pool were 64K and 65K, respectively, slightly higher than the standard upper limit of 60K. The temperature rise of Harrow’s internal wires exceeded the standard upper limit.

In terms of insulation distance, the insulation distance between the live parts of Proluxury, Harrow, and Midea of ​​Proluxury, Harrow, and Midea is about 1 to 2.5 mm less than the standard requirement, which can easily lead to short circuits, fire, leakage, etc.

In addition, with the exception of Tefal and ecHome, all the labelling instructions are inadequate, such as the lack of warning words required by the standard. Among them, TSK lacks the brand name and product model label, which does not meet the legal requirements, and consumers do not have enough information to contact the agent or manufacturer to follow up. The overall safety level is only scored 3.5 points, which is the lowest of all samples. The Consumer Council also recommended that when purchasing or using an air fryer, consumers should avoid sharing the power source with other high-power consumption appliances.

During operation, do not cover the air fryer vent to avoid affecting heat dissipation.