Cherish grilled meat marinated in your favourite beer? Bring it on. Adding beer can reduce the levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats, a new study suggests. Pilsner and black beer are most effective - halving the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in grilled meat which have been linked to colorectal cancer, the researchers say.
PAHs are substances that can form when meats are cooked at very high temperatures. High levels of PAHs, which are also present in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, are associated with cancers in laboratory animals.
During their research, IMPLVO Ferreira and colleagues at the Universidade do Porto in Portugal grilled samples of pork marinated for four hours in Pilsner beer and black beer on a charcoal grill. Black beer had the strongest effect, reducing the levels of eight major PAHs by more than half compared with unmarinated pork.
"Thus, the intake of beer-marinated meat can be a suitable mitigation strategy," the researchers added. Beer, wine or tea marinades can reduce the levels of some potential carcinogens in cooked meat but little was known about how different beer marinades affect PAH levels. The study appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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