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Good news for meat lovers: Most ready-to-eat meat products contain very few cancerous compounds
Date:3/22/2011

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- If given the choice between eating a hot dog or enjoying some rotisserie chicken, consider the hot dog.

That's because hot dogs, as well as pepperoni and deli meats, are relatively free of carcinogenic compounds, according to Kansas State University research. But it's a not-so-happy ending for bacon and rotisserie chicken -- especially chicken skin -- because both have higher levels of cancerous material.

J. Scott Smith, professor of food chemistry, and a K-State research team have been looking at such ready-to-eat meat products to determine their levels of heterocyclic amines, or HCAs. These are carcinogenic compounds found in meat that is fried, grilled or cooked at high temperatures. Studies have shown that humans who consume large amounts of HCAs in meat products have increased risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.

Ready-to-eat meat products are meat or poultry products that come in edible forms and don't need additional preparation or cooking. Smith has already researched HCA levels in cooked meat and found that adding certain spices and marinades before cooking can reduce HCA content in the meat.

The ready-to-eat product project was a collaboration with several other K-State researchers, including Terry Houser, assistant professor of meat science; Melvin Hunt, professor of animal sciences and industry; Kanithaporn Puangsombat, December 2010 doctoral graduate in food science, Bangkok, Thailand; and Priyadarshini Gadgil, a K-State graduate who now works as a research scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan. Their research appears in a recent issue of Meat Science, the journal of the American Meat Science Association.

The study focuses on eight types of ready-to-eat meat products: beef hot dogs, beef-pork-turkey hot dogs, deli roast beef, deli ham, deli turkey, fully cooked bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken.


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Contact: J. Scott Smith
jsschem@k-state.edu
785-532-1219
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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