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Beer marinade effective in reducing harmful chemicals during grilling

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Black beer found effective in removing harmful PAHs

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Summer time will soon be upon us and American’s will be firing up the grill for those delicious grilled meats with their sweet and savory smells. And let us not forget the beer that has been part of those backyard barbecues for years.

However, grilling has been associated to dangerous chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are formed when beef, fish, pork and poultry are grilled. PAHs can also be formed during other food preparation processes, such as smoking of meats. High levels of PAHs which can also be found in tobacco smoke and car exhaust and have found to cause tumors in laboratory animals when they breathed these substances in the air, when they ate them, or when they had long periods of skin contact with them. However, according to a new study that same beer passed out at backyard barbecues when used as a marinade can aide in reducing these harmful chemicals.

I.M.P.L.V.O. Ferreira, Laboratory of Food Science and Hydrology, Department of Chemical Sciences at the University of Porto and colleagues explain that past studies have shown an association between consumption of grilled meats and a high incidence of colorectal cancer.

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 examined the effect of marinating meat with Pilsner beer (PB), nonalcoholic Pilsner beer (POB), and Black beer (BB) on the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in charcoal-grilled pork was evaluated and compared with the formation of these compounds in unmarinated meat. The researchers evaluated antiradical activity of marinades.

Control and marinated meat samples contained the eight PAHs named PAH8 by the EFSA and classified as suitable indicators for carcinogenic potency of PAHs in food.

The results showed black beer showed the highest inhibitory effect in the formation of PAH8 at 53% followed by nonalcoholic Pilsner beer at 25% and Pilsner beer at 13%.

The researchers write “Black beer marinade was the most efficient on reduction of PAH formation, providing a proper mitigation strategy.”

“Thus, the intake of beer marinated meat can be a suitable mitigation strategy,” say the researchers.

This study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.




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