Charcoal-grilled meat increases risk of cancer, alerts Profeco

Profeco warned that the blacker the color of a food, the more acrylamide it contains. It can also be applied when frying, roasting or roasting potatoes and root vegetables. Photo: Pixabay

MEXICO (March 5, 2021).- The Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) recently announced that consuming charcoal-broiled foods, such as the traditional grilled meat at the weekend , can generate health risks, from raising blood pressure to increasing the risk of suffering from cancer . 

In the most recent edition of the Consumer Magazine (Revista del Consumidor), Profeco stated that the UK Food Standards Agency warned that in a process of acrylamide is generated in excessive roasting or frying which is the product of the reaction between amino acids and sugars, causing tumors in animals and humans.

The PROFECO warned that “the more black is the color, it contains more amount of acrylamide. It can also be applied when frying, roasting or toasting potatoes and root vegetables that should never go beyond a slightly golden hue color”.

It should be noted that as well as direct-fire grilled foods, fried foods are also included in the pan. This is because food generates certain chemical compounds such as acrylamide that in excess can be harmful to health.

Thus, experts recommend marinating meats since the more marinating mixtures, the more toxins are reduced in the roast, they refer. It is also necessary to remove excess fat from the meat and the skin of the chicken if it is going to be placed on the grill, “Chicken can be an important Producer of toxins if it is burned”.

“In order to lead a healthier life, experts suggest cooking meats for longer and at a lower temperature; marinate them, remove excess fat, do not eat the charred parts, and avoid overcooking them”, the Federal Consumer Attorney’s Office said.

What is acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical substance that is mainly used to produce chemical compounds called polyacrylamide and copolymers of acrylamide. Acrylamide is also found in some foods. It can occur when vegetables that contain the amino acid asparagine, such as potatoes, are heated to high temperatures in the presence of some sugars. It is also part of tobacco smoke.

According to the National Cancer Institute ( NIH ), food and cigarette smoke are the main sources of acrylamide exposure for people in the general population.

Foods that are the main source of acrylamide are potato chips, cookies and bread, breakfast cereals, canned black olives, prune juice and coffee.

It is also important to determine how the acrylamide is formed t during the cooking process and if acrylamide is present in other foods than those already evaluated. 

This information will allow researchers to make more accurate and comprehensive estimates of exposure in food. The collection of biological samples in cohort studies will provide an opportunity to examine the biological markers of exposure to acrylamide and its metabolites in relation to the subsequent risk of cancer. 

Sources: PROFECO and Instituto Nacional del Cáncer



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