Objective: To compare indicators of heterocyclic amine (HCA) exposure with HCA concentrations in home-cooked meat samples.
Methods: Pan-fried hamburger and steak samples were obtained from individuals stating a preference for medium, well done and very well done meat. Concentrations of DiMelQx, IFP, MeIQx and PhIP were determined by HPLC.
Results: HCA concentrations at the three doneness levels were not significantly different using the participants' self-reported doneness preference to categorize samples. Using doneness levels determined at the time the meat was cooked and photograph analysis to categorize samples, HCA concentrations increased with doneness level and significant differences were observed between the very well done and lower doneness levels. When assigned to doneness levels by photograph analysis, mean concentrations (ng/g cooked meat) of DiMelQx, IFP, MelQx, and PhIP were 0.18, 0.16, 0.65 and 0.47 in well done hamburger and 0.61, 0.74, 1.88 and 2.04 in very well done hamburger. In steak, mean concentrations were 0.24, 0.10, 0.79 and 0.59 in well done steak and 0.45, 0.14, 1.87 and 0.62 in very well done steak.
Conclusions: HCA levels in home-cooked meat samples were significantly different when samples were visually classified for doneness, but not when self-reported doneness preference was used to classify doneness.