Analysis and reduction of heterocyclic amines and cholesterol oxidation products in chicken by controlling flavorings and roasting condition

Food Res Int. 2020 May:131:109004. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109004. Epub 2020 Jan 18.


Roasting of chicken generates many toxic compounds such as heterocyclic amines (HAs) and cholesterol oxidation products (COPs). The objectives of this study were to evaluate analysis of HAs and COPs in raw, boiled and roasted chicken by QuEChERS coupled with UPLC-MS/MS and GC-MS, respectively, and study their formation as affected by different flavorings (red pepper, black pepper, rosemary and soy sauce) and roasting methods (fan oven and superheated steam oven). Results showed that the average recovery respectively ranged from 54.1 to 109.3% and 65.1 to 116.6% for 20 HAs and from 87.9 to 102.8% and 87.5 to 101.3% for 7 COPs in the skin and meat portions of boiled chicken breast, while the coefficient of variation (CV) of the intra-day and inter-day variability for HAs respectively ranged from 5.27 to 12.09% and 4.23 to 12.68% in chicken skin, as well as 7.34-18.32% and 6.13-15.54% in chicken meat. For COPs, the CV of the intra-day and inter-day variability respectively ranged from 0.82 to 4.14% and 1.80 to 6.30% in chicken skin, as well as 1.40-9.04% and 3.02-9.81% in chicken meat. A total of 8 HAs were formed in roasted chicken, with a higher level of total HAs being shown in the skin portion of roasted chicken flavored with soy sauce and cooked in a fan oven. Also, for both roasting methods, the skin portion contained a higher level of total HAs than the meat portion, but a reversed trend was shown for total COPs with the exception of black pepper flavoring. Furthermore, in roasted chicken with 4 different flavorings, all of which showed no significant correlation (p > 0.05) between formation of HAs and COPs in the skin portion, while in the meat portion, only rosemary showed significant correlation (p < 0.05). By taking both skin and meat into account, the incorporation of rosemary flavoring into chicken during roasting was the most effective in inhibiting the formation of total HAs and COPs, while soy sauce flavoring was the least effective.

Keywords: Cholesterol oxidation products; GC–MS; Heterocyclic amines; QuEChERS; Roasted chicken; UPLC-MS/MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Capsicum
  • Chickens
  • Cholesterol / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cooking / methods
  • Flavoring Agents / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / analysis*
  • Meat / analysis*
  • Meat Products / analysis
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Piper nigrum
  • Rosmarinus
  • Soy Foods
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Amines
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Cholesterol