Abstract: Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are mutagenic compounds formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures. Numerous reports have shown that natural antioxidants from spices, fruits, chocolate, and tea can inhibit formation. In this study, we evaluated HCA formation in the presence of 5 of Asian spices: galangal (Alpinia galangal), fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata), turmeric (Curcuma longa), cumin (Cuminum cyminum), and coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum). HCA levels were compared to patties containing rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), of which the inhibitory effect is well documented. Inhibition of HCA formation by the spices was evaluated in beef patties cooked at 204 °C (400 °F) for 10 min. All spices were mixed into patties at 0.2% before cooking, and HCAs levels were measured in the final product. All patties, including the control, contained 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo [4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) and 2-amino-1-methyl
-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP). The average HCA content of the control patties was 7 ng/g MeIQx and 6.53 ng/g PhIP. Turmeric (39.2% inhibition), fingerroot (33.5% inhibition), and galangal (18.4% inhibition) significantly decreased HCAs compared with the control. But, only turmeric and fingerroot were as effective as rosemary in preventing HCA formation. The HCA inhibition in patties containing spices was significantly correlated to the total phenolic content (R2= 0.80) and the scavenging activity (R2= 0.84) of the spices as measured by the 2,2-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl assay. Results of this study suggest that addition of Asian spices can be an important factor in decreasing the levels of HCAs in fried beef patties.