A simple and rapid method using liquid chromatography coupled to diode array detection (LC-DAD) was developed for the determination of acrylamide in potato-based foods at low levels. The method entails extraction of acrylamide with methanol, purification with Carrez I and 11 solutions, evaporation and solvent change to water, and cleanup with a Oasis HLB solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridge. The final extract was analyzed by LC-DAD for quantification and by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for confirmation. The chromatographic separations were performed on a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic interaction columns having good retention of acrylamide under 100% aqueous flow conditions (k' 3.67 and 2.54, respectively). The limit of quantitation was estimated to be 4.0 mu g/kg based on the signal-to-noise ratio of 3 recorded at 226 nm. Recoveries of acrylamide from potato chips samples spiked at levels of 250, 500 and 1000 (n = 4 for each level) mu g/kg ranged between 92.8 and 96.2% with relative standard deviations of less than 5%. The results of this study revealed that a conventional LC instrument coupled to DAD can also be used accurately and precisely, as an alternative to tandem LC-MS methods for the determination of acrylamide in potato-based foods. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.