Date Full Report Received


Date Abstract Report Received



Primary Investigator:
Co-Investigators: Terry Houser, Melvin Hunt

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are cancer-causing compounds found in meat products cooked at temperatures higher than 300 °F. Several studies have shown that high intake of well-done meat and exposure to HCAs may increase risk of human cancers such as colorectal, breast, pancreatic and prostate. In this study the HCA levels in ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products and meat products prepared by cooking methods common to the U.S. were investigated. HCA levels in RTE meat products, including hot dogs, deli meat products, pepperoni, and fully-cooked bacon, are generally low, but some items (e.g. rotisserie chicken) may contain elevated amounts of HCAs. Cooked meat products (pork, beef, chicken, fish) prepared by pan frying, oven broiling, and oven baking had HCA levels 10-50 fold higher than the RTE meat products. The effect of enhancement and marinating on HCA formation in products was investigated. Product enhanced with a solution containing water, salt, and phosphate showed greatly improved water-holding capacity and decreased HCA formation (up to 58%). Greater reductions in HCA levels (up to 79%) were found in marinated fresh meat; especially when the enhancement solution contained ingredients possessing high antioxidant activity. The results from this study can be used to recommend cooking methods for use at home or in the food industry, or used as guidelines for the meat industry on how to modify a formulation process to minimize HCA formation in cooked meat products. Also these data will provide important information for use in estimating HCA exposure and will facilitate investigation of the role of HCAs in the etiology of cancer in the United States.

Contact information: J. Scott Smith, Animal Sciences and Ind, 208 Call Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; jsschem@ksu.edu, 785-532-1219