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Evidence Mounts That Cooking Beef Patties With Spices Retards Carcinogens

May 18, 2010: 09:30 AM EST
Scientific studies have shown that when meat is barbecued, grilled, boiled or fried, compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are produced. HCAs have been shown to increase the risk of cancer in the colon, stomach, lungs, pancreas, breasts and prostate. But new research continues to provide evidence that various spices reduce HCA levels during cooking, thus reducing the risk of cancer. U.S. researchers recently found that spices containing natural antioxidants reduce HCA levels by 40 percent when applied to beef patties during cooking. Antioxidant spices – rosemary especially, but also cumin, coriander seeds, fingerroot and turmeric – contain phenolic compounds that block HCA formation during heating and allow high cooking temperatures. Some commercial rosemary extracts available on the Internet inhibit HCA formation by 61 to 79 percent, the researchers said.
J. Scott Smith, "Spicing the Meat Also Cuts the Cancer Risk", News release, Kansas State University, May 18, 2010, © Kansas State University
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