Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Try Thai Or Rosemary When Spicing The Meat To Curb Carcinogens

Date:
June 1, 2009
Source:
University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium
Summary:
Warm weather brings on the seasonal meat favorites that are barbecued, grilled, broiled or fried. That also means more potential exposure to carcinogenic compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs). There's a way to reduce the risk significantly by just adding some spices -- rosemary extracts or Thai spices.

Warm weather brings on the seasonal meat favorites that are barbecued, grilled, broiled or fried. That also means more potential exposure to carcinogenic compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs). There’s a way to reduce the risk significantly by just adding some spices – rosemary extracts or Thai spices.
Credit: iStockphoto/Heiko Martin

Warm weather brings on the seasonal meat favorites that are barbecued, grilled, broiled or fried. That also means more potential exposure to carcinogenic compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs). There’s a way to reduce the risk significantly by just adding some spices – rosemary extracts or Thai spices.

“Just one of the spices would work,” said J. Scott Smith, a Kansas State University food chemistry professor who researched the issue for the Food Safety Consortium. “Rosemary would be fine or one of the Thai spices would be fine.”

The numbers from Smith’s research tell the story. Some commercial rosemary extracts can inhibit the formation of HCAs in cooked beef patties by 61 to 79 percent. Thai spices can inhibit the formation by about 40 to 43 percent. The key is the level of antioxidants present in each, and Thai spices have lower levels than rosemary.

A discerning consumer wondering which to use need rely only on personal taste.

“What it boils down to in a lot of the cases is preference as far as the flavor,” Smith said. “For example, cinnamon is also very good but some people don’t like it. Some people don’t like rosemary. Some of these Thai spices are unique and there would be ones in colors that people would want to use more than a rosemary or cinnamon or other products.”

Inhibiting HCAs in cooked meat products is an important step in food safety. Smith’s additional research has found that HCA levels increase as charring increases on meat skin and the moisture content decreases. The numbers vary on different meats after cooking. Bacon and rotisserie chicken had the highest HCA levels with deli meats and hot dogs showing the lowest. Chicken skin and breast meat had all five of the HCA types.

The skin of rotisserie chicken that is sold in grocery stores as precooked roasted products often has some burnt, crusty areas on it with high HCA levels. Fortunately, Smith noted, most people don’t eat those parts.

“We’re trying to evaluate these levels based on the way the consumer would eat the product,” Smith said. “We just looked at different products that consumers are consuming. We really didn’t have good data on it, so we took a look at it to see what the actual risk would be.”

Few consumers are aware that rosemary and Thai spices provide reliable ways to reduce risk from HCAs in cooked meat. Smith believes the industry should market the products to increase awareness. For now, the word is mostly on the Internet. The herbs and spices industry haven’t put the word out significantly.

Although the situation isn’t related to HCAs, Smith recalled when cocoa was found to contain beneficial antioxidants, just as rosemary and Thai spices do. The chocolate industry began promoting that aspect. “It took awhile to catch on,” Smith said about the availability of dark chocolate. “For awhile you really couldn’t buy much of it. It just wasn’t available here in the United States. You had to go to get it in Europe. Now you can get dark chocolate all over the place.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium. "Try Thai Or Rosemary When Spicing The Meat To Curb Carcinogens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527180038.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium. (2009, June 1). Try Thai Or Rosemary When Spicing The Meat To Curb Carcinogens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527180038.htm
University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium. "Try Thai Or Rosemary When Spicing The Meat To Curb Carcinogens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527180038.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins