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Charred Meat Increases Meat Carcinogens

You are grilling a steak and there is a tendency that some parts of the meat are blackened due to uneven distribution of charcoal. Eating barbeque is really mouthwatering but if you eat even the charred portion of the meat, according to study, you are increasing the risk of having a pancreatic cancer.


Whenever you fry, grill or barbecue meat to the point of charring, carcinogens is formed on their surfaces. When you consume these parts, it enters your system and contaminates certain body parts than can be affected by it.

According to an earlier study made a group of students from the University of Minnesota, there is an association between pancreatic cancer and the red meats' cancer-causing compounds during the process of cooking.

Cooking various types of meat at extremely high temperature to the point of charring creates compound like heterocyclic amines or HAs that is the resultant compound that is brought about by the burning of amino acids and other meat substances when cooked well done that can be evident with charring.

HAs are commonly found in both barbecued and grilled types of meat. They can also be found in pan-fried and broiled meat.

To go further, in their quest to investigate this association on a bigger scale, the researchers observe the meat intakes, how they are cooked and how the doneness preferences for around 60,000 participant who took part in Lung, Prostate, Colorectal, and Ovarian Multi-Cancer Screening Trials.

During the follow up after nine years, exactly 208 subjects were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This number showed that meat eaters who loves to eat their steak including, sausage, hamburger, and bacon at well done level were 60% more likely to have this kind of cancer compared to those who ate their stake at lower doneness levels. This team made estimates about their carcinogen consumption taking into account the doneness preference of the meat eaters and how much meat they consume for a certain period.

The result is the subjects with the highest intake of well-done meats had a 70% risk of acquiring pancreatic cancer than those at the lower level of meat intake.

The finding cannot absolutely say with certainty that the risk has increased because of the carcinogens formed in the burning meat however, those who enjoyed either fried or barbecued meat should try turning down the heat or removing the burnt portions before consumption.

Experts suggest that everyone must cook their meat well just enough to kill any bacteria but not burning their surfaces to the extent of charring and making them black.

Cooking them in water or other liquid types can prevent it from getting too hot and burnt. You could avoid cooking over indirect heat and try other options that can likewise provide the grilled flavor sans the increased risk.

If your food and drink are prepared well with lesser burning and charring, it can remain healthy to consume. Better use one of the best grill smokers that have temperature controls so that excessive burning or cooking can be avoided.