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Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Aug;40(8):1205-11.

Screening for heterocyclic amines in chicken cooked in various ways.

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Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Centre for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lund University, PO Box 124, SE-221 00, Lund, Sweden.


Chicken cooked under well-controlled conditions and commercial chicken products were screened for heterocyclic amines (HAs). Chicken samples were boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, oven-roasted, cooked in an unglazed clay pot or in a roasting bag in the oven, and oven broiled. 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx), 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (4,8-DiMeIQx), 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), 1-methyl-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole (harman) and 9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole (norharman) were identified in several samples. Chicken cooked at low temperatures contained low amounts of HAs. In pan-fried chicken breasts, MeIQx was detected in amounts below 2 ng/g, 4,8-DiMeIQx below 0.6 ng/g, and PhIP in amounts up to 38 ng/g. Harman and norharman were detected in almost all samples (below 15 ng/g). In skin from a commercially barbecued chicken, MeIQx, 4,8-DiMeIQx and PhIP were detected, while only traces of MeIQx were detected in the meat. MeIQx was detected in a commercial chicken flavour, 0.1 ng/ml. No HAs were detected in pan-fried chicken liver. The results show that the content of HAs in chicken cooked in various ways is low if prepared at low temperatures, and increases with increasing cooking temperature. PhIP formation seems to start accelerating at cooking temperatures around or above 200 degrees C. Colour development increases with cooking temperature, but no correlation with HA content was observed.

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