Occurrence of Heterocyclic Amines in Commercial Fast-Food Meat Products Available on the Chinese Market and Assessment of Human Exposure to these Compounds.J Food Sci 2019; 84(1):192-200JF
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) have been identified as highly mutagenic and are risk factors for human cancer. In recent years, the intake of fast-food meat products has increased exponentially due to their convenience. Therefore, it is important to assess the health risks of HCAs and provide useful public dietary guidelines. Eight fast-food meat products were selected from the Chinese market, including chicken, beef, and fish, to evaluate their health risk in conjunction with HCAs. Crispy chicken drumsticks contained the maximum level of total HCAs (24.18 ± 3.57 ng/g), followed by crispy fried chicken burgers (19.99 ± 1.41 ng/g) and traditional Chinese nuggets (19.17 ± 1.23 ng/g), whereas shrimp cake burgers had the lowest levels (13.17 ± 1.77 ng/g). Crispy chicken drumsticks (men: 169.12 ng/day, women: 108.70 ng/day), hot chicken wings (men: 126.32 ng/day, women: 142.11 ng/day), and crispy fried chicken burgers (men: 129.78 ng/day, women: 59.91 ng/day) were found to provide the highest dietary intake of HCAs in both genders, which may lead to an increase in colorectal and breast cancers. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The rapid expansion of the Chinese fast-food industry has promoted serious health problems, such as colorectal cancer and some cardiovascular diseases. Several epidemiological studies revealed that a high intake of processed meats may increase the risk of cancer in humans because cooking food proteins, such as meat, at high temperatures could produce high levels of carcinogenic compounds, such as HCAs. Because of the vast variation in eating habits, preparation methods and the frequency of meat consumption, it is important to evaluate the accurate level of HCAs in commercially available fast-food meat products with the aim to clarify the association between processed meats and the health risk.