Heterocyclic amines content of meat and fish cooked by Brazilian methods

J Food Compost Anal. 2010 Feb 1;23(1):61-69. doi: 10.1016/j.jfca.2009.07.004.


Heterocyclic amine (HCA) concentrations were measured in meat and fish samples cooked by pan-frying, grilling and churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) to various levels of doneness in accordance with the cooking methods most commonly used in Brazil. HCAs were extracted by the Blue-rayon absorption method and measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx), and 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (4,8-DiMeIQx) were sharply increased in very well-done meats and fish. HCA levels varied somewhat across cooking methods: levels of PhIP (ng/g) in very well-done, non-marinated samples were particularly high for churrasco (31.8 in the exterior of the sample), compared to lower levels for grilled (16.3), and pan-fried beef (0.58). On comparison across foods, chicken contained higher HCA levels than other non-marinated samples. For example, PhIP levels (ng/g) in very well-done pan-fried foods were 34.6 for chicken with the skin, 0.58 for beef, 7.25 for pork, 2.28 for sardines, and 7.37 for salmon cooked with the skin. HCA levels were lower in marinated meats and fish than in non-marinated samples, except for pan-fried salmon. This study provides valuable information which will allow the estimation of dietary HCA exposure using an epidemiologic questionnaire and the investigation of the association of HCA intake with cancer risk in Brazil.