Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals formed when muscle meat, including beef, pork, fish, and poultry, is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling directly over an open flame.
The formation of HCAs and PAHs is influenced by the type of meat, the cooking time, the cooking temperature, and the cooking method.
Exposure to high levels of HCAs and PAHs can cause cancer in animals; however, whether such exposure causes cancer in humans is unclear.
Currently, no Federal guidelines address consumption levels of HCAs and PAHs formed in meat.
HCA and PAH formation can be reduced by avoiding direct exposure of meat to an open flame or a hot metal surface, reducing the cooking time, and using a microwave oven to partially cook meat before exposing it to high temperatures.
Ongoing studies are investigating the associations between meat intake, meat cooking methods, and cancer risk.
- 8/28/2012 1:33:42 PM