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Formation and Human Risk of Carcinogenic Heterocyclic Amines Formed from Natural Precursors in Meat

Mark G. Knize, James S. Felton PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2005.tb00133.x 158-165 First published online: 1 May 2005


A group of heterocyclic amines that are mutagens and rodent carcinogens form when meat is cooked to medium and well-done states. The precursors of these compounds are natural meat components: creatinine, amino acids, and sugars. Defined model systems of dry-heated precursors mimic the amounts and proportions of heterocyclic amines found in meat. Results from model systems and cooking experiments suggest ways to reduce their formation and, thus, reduce human intake. Human cancer epidemiology studies related to the consumption of well-done meat products are listed and compared in this review.

  • heterocyclic amine
  • PhIP
  • IFP
  • cooked meat
  • epidemiology

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