Rosemary Extract Reduces HCAs During Cooking

February 17, 2010

1 Min Read
Rosemary Extract Reduces HCAs During Cooking

CHICAGOAdding rosemary extract to ground beef reduces cancer-causing agents that can form during the cooking process, according to a new study published in the Journal of Food Science. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are mutagenic compounds that form when meat and fish are grilled, pan-fried, broiled or barbecued at high temperatures.

Researchers at Kansas State University investigated whether reducing the amount of HCAs in meat cooked at high temperatures would reduce the associated health risks. The study compared five rosemary extracts with varying concentrations of water and ethanol and their ability to inhibit HCA formation in cooked beef patties. Rosemary extracts were isolated with ethanol concentrations ranging from 10 percent to 40 percent. The extracts were added directly onto the ground beef patties and cooked at 400 degrees F for five minutes each side and 375 degrees F for six minutes each side. Researchers found that all of the concentrations significantly decreased the levels of HCAs at both cooking temperatures.

When beef patties were cooked at 400 degrees F for five minutes per side, the rosemary extracted at the lower ethanol concentrations were most effective in inhibiting HCA formation. Rosemary extracts prepared at these lower ethanol concentrations contain a mixture of rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid, and these compounds just may work together in inhibiting HCA formation.

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