How to Avoid Carcinogens When Cooking Meat?


Nutritionists recommend the grilled meat and barbecue fans to marinate pieces of meat in red wine or beer before roasting them. It turned out that marinating meat in these kinds of alcohol helps avoid the production of carcinogens during roasting.


According to the doctors from the University of Portugal in Porto, roasting increases the amount of food carcinogens – heterocyclic amines (HA). In grilled meat and roasted meat, their concentration is particularly high. Sugars and amino acids contained in the muscle tissue transform into carcinogens most actively under the influence of the heated environment. However, the researchers claim that a suitable marinade can significantly reduce the threat of hazardous components.

For example, experts have found that marinating with the help of such products as olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, reduces the level of HA formation in fried chicken for as much as 90 percent.

As for wine and beer, the following pattern has been found. Red wine lowers the activity of the carcinogenic compounds formation in grilled chicken no less effectively. In order to reduce the HA levels in meat as much as possible, it is necessary to soak it in beer for 4 hours, or in wine – for 6 hours.

According to scientists, beer marinade is even more preferable for meat. As explained by the study leader Dr. Isabel Ferreira, beer contains more water-retaining sugars than wine and thus restrains the transportation of water-soluble molecules to the surface of the meat, where high temperatures transform them into HA. In addition, the researchers believe that the smell and appearance of meat, marinated in beer, turn out to be better.