Almost everyone who goes to the country or the nature, traditionally cooked kebabs.
But we know that there are carcinogens in it. Can they be made less dangerous?
Let's start with the bad: we really know about carcinogens in kebabs and other barbecues, but we don’t know how many of them are and how diverse they are. These are champions in the content of such substances. Now for the good: the content of carcinogens can actually be reduced, and their negative effect can be significantly leveled. Now to the point.
WHAT IS GENERAL IN SHASHLIK WITH CIGARETTES
Benzpyrene – out of hundreds of tobacco carcinogens, it is the most famous. You will not believe it, but it is also present in the barbecue, and in a kebab, and in everything that is cooked on the coals. But it is not formed during frying and other cooking methods at high temperatures, so in relation to food, benzpyrene can be called a pure barbecue carcinogen.
It's all about the features of cooking on charcoal. This harmful substance is formed by burning wood and hydrocarbons. And therefore, even when you sit in an ecologically clean corner of nature at a regular fire, you are in an atmosphere in which the concentration of benzpyrene is not less than at a large intersection with traffic lights in the city. Cars with exhaust gases emit a mass of benzpyrene, and when they have to stand in traffic jams or at traffic lights, its number increases many times.
Benzpyrene belongs to the so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – this is a large group of similar in composition substances, many of which are carcinogenic. Almost all of them are formed together with benzpyrene when cooking on coal. Why more often speak only about him? Benzpyrene – the most famous and studied among all PAHs. There are so many others that they continue to be studied, and perhaps no less dangerous substances will be discovered among them. But fighting with benzpyrene, you reduce their concentration in the kebab.
But in the kebab the concentration of this carcinogen is much greater. And here's why: not everyone guesses that when fat from the pieces of meat drips onto hot coals, the process of pyrolysis of fat occurs. In this case, benzpyrene is formed. It would seem, so what? The same happens on the coals, and we do not eat them. The fact is that with particles of smoke, benzpyrene takes off and settles on the pieces of meat. In the process of cooking it accumulates quite a lot.
All this has been proven in scientific studies. In pieces of meat cooked on charcoal, benzpyrene was found in concentrations of more than 60 µg / kg. This is a lot.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend eating more than 0.36 mcg of benzpyrene on one day, and its daily average intake should not be more than 0.05 mcg. It turns out that even at one time during a picnic, many people can eat benzpyrene more than WHO recommends. Therefore, there is often a kebab and any barbecue is not worth it.
How to reduce the amount of benzpyrene and other PAHs
1. Buy less fatty meat, because it is fats that play a major role in the formation of benzpyrene and PAH.
2. It is necessary to influence different parts of the process of formation of this carcinogen. Do not allow fat to fall on the coal or other heating element. As a result, there will be no smoke with carcinogen deposited on meat.
This does not happen, for example, when using special barbecues, in which either skewers are installed vertically, or other heating elements are placed on the side. It is even better if these structures are on top and the meat is below. So the dripping fat will not undergo pyrolysis.
The most famous carcinogens of kebabs are called cunningly – heterocyclic aromatic amines (GAA). This group includes many different substances, even more than in PAHs. They are aromatic because they add flavor and taste to kebabs, as well as other fried and baked meat. But with the latest methods of cooking they are formed less. GAA are formed directly on meat. In fact, frying and mouth-watering crusts are GAA. These carcinogens are synthesized from creatine, amino acids and sugars contained in meat, as well as in poultry and fish. Since there is no creatine in the liver and kidneys, they are not formed when they are cooked, even at high temperatures.
WHAT TO DO IN SHASHLIKE WAS LESS GAA
1. Avoid the appearance of an open flame when cooking kebabs and reduce the cooking temperature altogether; to do this, increase the distance between meat and coal (or another heating element). You can also use less coals.
2. Reduce the cooking time. It is better to cook not on a lattice, but on skewers. Rotate them more often, optimally – every minute.
3. Marinate meat for a longer time to make it softer. Due to this, it will prepare faster, which means that less GAA will be formed in it.
4. Buy meat less rigid, with a minimum content of connective tissue (veins, ligaments, films) and younger, as well as not subjected to freezing. The temperature for cooking may be lower, and less time will pass.
5. Studies have shown that it is best to pickle in dry red wine or beer. Antioxidants contained in them will reduce the formation of carcinogens.
6. If you pickle in vinegar, then take not table vinegar, but wine, apple or alcohol. These are natural types of vinegar, and table is an ordinary solution of acetic acid.
7. Add some sugar to the marinade. In its pure form, and not in the way it is contained in meat, poultry or fish, sugar inhibits the formation of GAA. This has been proven in experiments.
8. Interesting advice comes from the National Institute of Oncology (USA). Its experts advise to place the meat in a microwave oven for 2-3 minutes before the grill. Due to this, the cooking time will be reduced, and, according to experimental data, the formation of GAA can be reduced by 95%.
In the kebab there is another carcinogen – acrylamide. This substance damages genes, and it is one of the youngest food carcinogens.
Acrylamide was known about itself for a long time and even controlled its concentration in drinking water, but in food products it was first discovered by Swedish scientists 17 years ago. When we compared its concentration in products with the allowed MPC for water, it turned out to be hundreds or even thousands of times more. It was a shock for scientists, and besides, they did not understand how this substance is formed. After emergency research, they realized that acrylamide is synthesized at high temperature as a result of the reaction of the amino acid asparagine with sugars. In fact, its formation is similar to the synthesis of GAA, so all ways to reduce the formation of acrylamide in kebabs are the same as for inhibiting the formation of GAA.