GLOBAL - Marinating meat products in beer can help reduce the formation of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats.
Research from I.M.P.L.V.O. Ferreira and colleagues shows that past studies have shown an association between consumption of grilled meats and a high incidence of colorectal cancer.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are substances that can form when meats are cooked at very high temperatures, like on a backyard grill.
And high levels of PAHs, which are also in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, are associated with cancers in laboratory animals, although it is uncertain if that's true for people.
Nevertheless, the European Union Commission Regulation has established the most suitable indicators for the occurrence and carcinogenic potency of PAHs in food and attributed maximum levels for these compounds in foods.
Beer, wine or tea marinades can reduce the levels of some potential carcinogens in cooked meat, but little was known about how different beer marinades affect PAH levels, until now.
The researchers grilled samples of pork marinated for four hours in Pilsner beer, non-alcoholic Pilsner beer or a black beer ale, to well-done on a charcoal grill. Black beer had the strongest effect, reducing the levels of eight major PAHs by more than half compared with unmarinated pork.
"Thus, the intake of beer marinated meat can be a suitable mitigation strategy," saidthe researchers.
The study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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