Since the fume of cooking oil has been reported to increase the risk of lung cancer, the objectives of this study were to evaluate the mutagenicity and to find the mutagens in the fumes of peanut oil heated to the smoke point. Peanut oil prepared from roasted peanut kernel showed a lower smoke point, less unsaturated fatty acids, more fume formation, and stronger mutagenicity than that from unroasted kernel. Further investigation of mutagenic compounds was performed by the Ames test and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. Among the 12 compounds identified from the neutral fraction of methanol extract, four compounds at a dose of 10 microg per plate were mutagenic to Salmonella Typhimurium TA98 and TA100 in the order of trans-trans-2,4-decadienal > trans-trans-2,4-nonadienal > trans-2-decenal > trans-2-undecenal. Results report the enal compounds formed as the mutagens in the fumes of peanut oil and indicate that inhaling cooking fumes might cause carcinogenic risk.