In this study, the effect of microwave pre-cooking of potato strips on the resultant acrylamide levels in French fries was investigated. Control and microwaved (10, 20, and 30 s at 850 W) samples were fried at 150, 170 and 190 degrees C for predetermined times. Surface and core temperatures of potato strips were acquired during frying, and acrylamide content in the surface and the core regions were determined separately. The results showed that microwave application prior to frying resulted in a marked reduction of acrylamide level in the surface region, whereas a slight increase was noted for the core region. When the potato strips were subjected to frying after a microwave pre-cooking step, acrylamide content in the whole potato strip was reduced by 36%, 41%, and 60% for frying at 150, 170, and 190 degrees C, respectively, in comparison to the control. (c) 2006 Society of Chemical Industry.