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News2009June › A simple way to make barbecued meat safe and cancer-free › June 2009

A simple way to make barbecued meat safe and cancer-free

We're all getting the barbeque out right now

We're all getting the barbeque out right now. Worryingly, it creates cancer-causing compounds in meats - so scientists have come up with a simple method that makes barbecued meat safe for us to eat.

Just adding spices, such as rosemary, cinnamon or Thai spices, eliminates the build-up of HCAs (heterocyclic amines) when the meat is being barbecued. HCAs are cancer-causing, and they increase as meat is charred and loses its moisture.

Researchers at Arkansas State University have found that adding spices such as rosemary or cinnamon reduces HCA levels by as much as 79 per cent, while Thai spices lower the levels by 43 per cent.

Aside from barbecuing, rotisserie cooking also increases levels of HCAs.

(Source: University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium).


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