Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Commercial cooking elevates hazardous pollutants in the environment, study finds

Date:
March 29, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Minnesota are reporting that commercial cooking is a surprisingly large source of a range of air pollutants that could pose risks to human health and the environment.

New research finds that commercial cooking is a surprisingly large source of a range of air pollutants that could pose risks to human health and the environment.
Credit: iStockphoto/Carla Lisinski

As you stroll down restaurant row and catch the wonderful aroma of food -- steaks, burgers, and grilled veggies -- keep this in mind: You may be in an air pollution zone. Scientists in Minnesota are reporting that commercial cooking is a surprisingly large source of a range of air pollutants that could pose risks to human health and the environment.

They discussed the topic at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

Deborah Gross, Ph.D., pointed out that commercial food cooking is a known source of air pollutants, including gases and tiny solid particles -- as is cooking in the home. "While that mouth-watering smell may whet our appetites, it comes from the emission of smoke from the cooking process into the air that we breathe," Gross said. Research conducted in the U.S. during the past decade has shown that cooking is by far the largest source of respirable particles generated in the home, as well. "Exposure to high concentrations of these particles is common."

Gross, who is with Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., has been working with colleagues Tom Kuehn, Bernard Olson, and Dabrina Dutcher of the University of Minnesota to define the specific contribution that commercial cooking makes to air pollution. The project, also involving Carleton undergraduate student Lisa Wang, already has resulted in two air quality management districts in California implementing restrictions on commercial cooking emissions. They are the South Coast and Bay Area Air Quality Management Districts. Much of the Los Angeles Basin now requires the use of catalytic converters to minimize the release of aerosol particles from charbroiler grates.

Gross and Wang set out to get the chemical signature of the mouth-watering aroma from the cooking process. They used a novel combination of chemical and physical measurements of the aerosol particles -- solid and liquid droplets -- emitted from food being cooked. They did the study with typical commercial cooking appliances in a kitchen laboratory at the University of Minnesota during cooking of pizzas in an oven, steaks in a broiler, and hamburgers on a griddle, clamshell broiler, and charcoal fire.

Which foods create the most emissions in commercial kitchens? Fatty foods cooked with high heat, especially with open flames, such as cooking hamburger patties on a conveyor broiler. Kuehn's previous research has found that for every 1,000 pounds of hamburger cooked on conveyor broilers, 25 pounds of emissions are created. The same weight of pepperoni pizza cooked in an oven created just three pounds of emissions. The use of certain oils also could increase emissions. For 1,000 pounds of chicken cooked in a wok with peanut oil, 45 pounds of emissions were produced.

"These experiments help us to assess what needs to be replicated in standardized laboratory tests, and to suggest better methods of emission control," Gross said. "In combination with other measurements, we can provide a relatively comprehensive chemical and physical signature of the emissions from various cooking operations. Not only do these emissions affect air quality, but they contain chemicals that are known carcinogens."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Commercial cooking elevates hazardous pollutants in the environment, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085304.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, March 29). Commercial cooking elevates hazardous pollutants in the environment, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085304.htm
American Chemical Society. "Commercial cooking elevates hazardous pollutants in the environment, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085304.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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