The objective of this study was to reduce frying time, and hence acrylamide level of French fries by microwave pre-thawing of frozen potato strips. Effect of this pre-treatment on acrylamide content and quality attributes of French fries was determined. Frozen par-fried potato strips (8.5 x 8.5 x 70 mm) were thawed in a microwave oven prior to final frying in sunflower oil at 170, 180, and 190 degrees C. Potato strips that were final fried without pre-thawing were considered as the control. Acrylamide analysis was performed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method. Microwave pre-thawing of frozen strips reduced the acrylamide level of French fries by 10% (from 17.7 to 15.9 ng/g), 89% (from 72.1 to 8.0 ng/g), and 64% (from 50.5 to 18.4 ng/g) for frying at 170, 180, and 190 degrees C, respectively, in comparison to the control samples. Quality attributes (texture, color, and oil content) of pre-treated strips were found to be comparable to those of the control. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.