Marinating Grilled Meats In Dark Beer Reduces Carcinogens

May 28, 2020

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The nice thing about Florida is outdoor grilling season is pretty much an all-year experience. The bad news about outdoor grilling are studies linking meats cooked at high temperatures with several unhealthy chemicals to form, including those responsible for causing cancer. But a new report says that marinating meat with beer, particularly dark beer, can curb the creation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These carcinogenic chemicals form as fat and juices drip from meat onto flames or embers, which then send smoky PAHs wafting up to coat the surface of our food. These chemicals have caused tumors, birth defects and reproductive problems in lab animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However there are no documented cases of these chemicals causing these effects in humans. Previous studies have shown that beer, wine, tea and rosemary marinades can reduce carcinogens in cooked meat, but until now little was known about how various beer styles affect this phenomenon. Researchers found that between regular pilsner, non-alcoholic pilsner and black beer, the darker beer had the most dramatic effect, reducing eight major PAHs by 68% compared to the amount found in unmarinated grilled pork. The other beers had a reduction effect to with regular pilsner with a 13% reduction and non-alcoholic pilsner by 25%. They suspect it might be antioxidant compounds in beer, especially darker beers, since antioxidants could restrict the movement of free radicals that are required for PAH formation. The American Institute for Cancer Research already recommends marinating meat for at least 30 minutes to limit both PAHs and heterocyclic amines (HCAs), another type of chemical compound that can damage DNA. It also suggests grilling fish and poultry more often than red meat or processed meats like hot dogs, which can increase the risk for certain cancers. Reducing temperature, time on the grill and smoke exposure are other options for limiting cancer risk.

SOURCE: Mental Floss

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