Factors That Affect the Content of Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines in Foods

Authors

  • Maite Sanz Alaejos,

    1. Authors are with Dept. of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Food Science, Univ. of La Laguna, 38205-La Laguna (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Spain. Direct inquiries to author Alaejos (E-mail: mtsanz@ull.es).
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  • Ana M. Afonso

    1. Authors are with Dept. of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Food Science, Univ. of La Laguna, 38205-La Laguna (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Spain. Direct inquiries to author Alaejos (E-mail: mtsanz@ull.es).
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Abstract

Abstract:  This review compiles the contents of heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) in foods and beverages, collected from literature data along the period from 1992 up to 2009. Also, it describes the factors that affect the formation of HAAs in foods, such as the cooking method, including temperature, time, and frequency of turning of meat, during cooking. Other factors depending on the type of food and the recipe followed are pH, amounts of HAA precursors, types of amino acids, presence of certain divalent ions, and content of substances with enhancing or inhibiting effects on the formation of HAAs. In addition, there are other factors, which depend on the type of food, such as muscle tissue and the presence of certain genes, since the RN allele in pigs increases the glycogen content of muscle. The dispersion of the bibliographic data is evident, and there are scarce data, even no data, referred to individual HAAs. Considering that the diverging results can be due to several causes, possible recommendations are given in order to prevent the dispersion of the results and to achieve more valuable information, applied to determine the HAAs exposure. Although there are not direct indications that HAAs represent a serious health risk to the population, and common cancers are produced by many factors including xenobiotics, all measures to minimize the formation of HAAs should be foreseen, some of which are indicated.

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