The acrylamide content of heated foodstuffs should be considered to be the net result of complex reactions leading to the formation and elimination/degradation of this compound. The present study, involving primarily homogenized potato heated in an oven, was designed to characterize parameters that influence these reactions, including the heating temperature, duration of heating, pH, and concentrations of various components. Higher temperature (200 degrees C) combined with prolonged heating times produced reduced levels of acrylamide, due to elimination/degradation processes. At certain concentrations the presence of asparagine or monosaccharides (in particular, fructose and also glucose and glyceraldehyde) was found to increase the net content of acrylamide. Addition of other free amino acids or a protein-rich food component strongly reduced the acrylamide content, probably by promoting competing reactions and/or covalently binding acrylamide formed. The dependence on pH of the acrylamide content exhibited a maximum around pH 8; in particular, lower pH was shown to enhance elimination and decelerate formation of acrylamide. In contrast, the effects of additions of antioxidants or peroxides on acrylamide content were small or nonexistent.