Most experts say that during the meat roasting or barbecuing process carcinogenic substances can be formed that stick to the meat and then enter the body. However, Melanie Polk, a member of the cancer research team at the US Department of Nutritional Research, denies this claim.
But what can be done to avoid the formation of carcinogens?
The answer is simple: you have to marinate the meat before roasting it. In fact, experts have found that if we marinate chicken, beef or pork, we reduce the presence of heterocyclic compounds from which carcinogens can be released when the temperature exceeds 160 degrees Celsius.
These heterocyclic compounds tend to increase the risk of stomach, liver, skin, breast, lung and rectal cancer.
According to Melanie Polk, if fat-rich meat is exposed to open flames and smoke, it is highly likely that heterocyclic compounds will be produced. To reduce the chance of these compounds being formed, meat should be marinated before being exposed to heat.
Experts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have also found that during barbecuing chicken, heterocyclic compounds are present 99 percent of the time. According to scientists, there is no need for special marinating techniques; it is enough to marinate meat in slightly sweetened olive oil with some fresh lemon juice, salt, mustard and garlic.
According to the Natural Medicine Journal, meat can also be marinated in beer to reduce the harmful compounds.
According to Melanie Polk, lemon juice and garlic should be added to the marinade because they contain antioxidants which neutralize carcinogenic substances.
Experts recommend, however, that we should barbecue lean meats and for as short time as possible, so that there is no time for the release of carcinogens.