It is a well-known fact that, when meat is barbecued, several harmful components, including heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), may be formed. The aim of this study was to determine the HCA and PAH content in meat (pork, chicken and beef) when barbecued at home by Danish consumers according to their normal practice. With regard to HCA, beef contained the highest concentrations of 9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole (norharman) and 2-methyl-β-carboline (harman), while chicken contained more 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) than pork and beef. The analysis of PAH showed a markedly higher concentration of PAH in beef compared with pork and chicken. In general, a correlation between the HCA content and the surface colour of the meat was found, the darker the colour the higher the HCA concentrations.
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