+49-8161-5193562
Enquiry Hours: Mon-Fri:08:00-17:00

Michael Murkovic

Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Formation of potential carcinogens during processing of foods

During heating of foods, a series of chemical changes occur. Especially at higher temperatures a variety of chemical reactions (e.g. Maillard reaction) take place leading to nitrogen and/or oxygen containing heterocycles. These reactions need temperatures of above 150 °C and specific precursors.

For the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) the presence of amino acids, carbohydrates, and creatin is necessary (e.g MeIQ, DiMeIQx, PhIP). These types of HCAs are occurring practically only in heated meat and fish. Some of the HCAs are formed differently and could be denominated as, pyrolysis products of amino acids (Trp-P-1). Some of these HCAs are known for their extreme carcinogenicity. This has been demonstrated in animal cell cultures, test animal, as well as by epidemiological means. The concentrations of these HCAs are in the ng/g range. Especially, when meat is heated intensively (gilled, well-done) the concentration can increase by a factor of 100.

Acrylamide, also a compound of concern, is formed predominantly from asparagine in presence of reducing sugars. Acrylamide is found in practically any heated plant food (potatoes, bread, vegetables, coffee). Again, the processing temperature must be higher than 150 °C for a significant formation.

Furfuryl alcohol, another potential harmful compound, is found mainly in coffee. It is formed during the roasting process. Currently the precursors are not yet known in detail.

A correlation of the uptake of oxidized fat with the incidence of colon cancer initiated the research on food lipid oxidation. Since the oxidation of fat is a rather complex reaction forming a complex reaction mixture ranging from a series of peroxides, epoxides, short and long chain carbonyls with radicals as intermediates the possible carcinogen has not yet been identified.

Michael Murkovic

Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Michael Murkovic

Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Biography

Register Now