Marinating Meats Prior to Grilling May Decrease Cancer-Forming Compounds

July 29, 2008

Chicago, IL – July 29, 2008 – Outdoor cooking season is at its peak, and now there are even more reasons to marinate meats before grilling. New research published in the Journal of Food Science suggests that marinating meats may decrease the cancer-forming compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA), which are produced during grilling, by over 70 percent.

Researchers from Kansas State University tested three commercial spice-containing marinade blends (Caribbean, southwest, and herb) on round beef steaks. The steaks were marinated for one hour and then grilled at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food scientists found that steaks marinated in the Caribbean blend produced the highest decrease in HCA content (88 percent), followed by the herb blend (72 percent) and then the southwest blend (57 percent).

“Commercial marinades offer spices and herbs which have antioxidants that help decrease the HCAs formed during grilling,” says Dr. J.S. Smith, principal researcher at Kansas State University. “The results from our study have a direct application since more consumers are interested in healthier cooking.”

To view this abstract visit: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120775665/abstract

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About IFT
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT publishes various resources for the food industry, including Food Technology and the Journal of Food Science. IFT also conducts the world’s largest annual convention on food grown, processed, manufactured, distributed, and eaten worldwide: the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo.