Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carcinogen - FREE BBQ

Carcinogenic compounds are formed when meat and fish are barbecued, grilled, broiled or fried.

There’s a way to reduce the significant risk of exposure to some of the carcinogens formed during high temperature cooking by just marinating the meat with some spices.

Smith JS and his coworkers1 found that marinating with rosemary extracts can inhibit the formation of these carcinogenic compounds in cooked beef patties by 61 to 79 percent. This confirmed the 1998 findings by Murkovic M et al2.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus offtcinalis L.), is a plant native to the Mediterranean. Several compounds within the lipid fraction of rosemary have antioxidant properties. One of these, rosmanol, is an odourless and tasteless constituent that has antioxidant activity about four times greater than compounds sometimes added to foods during commercial production such as butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylhydroxyanisol (BHA)3.

If you like a more pungent marinade, Thai spices can inhibit the formation even further, by about 40 to 43 percent4.

1. Theibaut A. et al. Dietary Fatty Acids and Pancreatic Cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2009, 101: 1001-1011

2. Murkovic M, Steinberger D, Pfannhauser W. Antioxidant spices reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines in fried meat. Zeitschrift fur Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und -Forschung. A, European food research and technology. 1998, vol. 207, no 6 (67 p.) (32 ref.), pp. 477-480

3. Amagase H, Sakamoto K, Segal ER, Milner JA. Dietary Rosemary Suppresses 7,12-Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene Binding to Rat Mammary Cell DNA1'2. J. Nutr. 126: 1475-1480,1996.

4. Smith JS, Ameri F, Gadgil P. Effect of marinades on the formation of heterocyclic amines in grilled beef steaks. J Food Sci. 2008 Aug;73(6):T100-5. 11

5. Picture credit: http://kildare.ie/Events/images/bbq-country-style-ribs.jpg

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