A new study has suggested that adding some rosemary extracts or Thai spices to cooked meat can reduce the risk of exposure to carcinogenic compounds involved in the promotion of cancer.
"Just one of the spices would work," said J. Scott Smith, a Kansas State University food chemistry professor who researched the issue for the Food Safety Consortium.
"Rosemary would be fine or one of the Thai spices would be fine," Smith added.
The researchers revealed that some commercial rosemary extracts can inhibit the formation of HCAs or heterocyclic amines in cooked beef patties by 61 to 79 percent.
And Thai spices can inhibit the formation by about 40 to 43 percent.
The research has found that HCA levels increase as charring increases on meat skin and the moisture content decreases.
Bacon and rotisserie chicken had the highest HCA levels with deli meats and hot dogs showing the lowest. Chicken skin and breast meat had all five of the HCA types.
"We're trying to evaluate these levels based on the way the consumer would eat the product," said Smith.
"We just looked at different products that consumers are consuming. We really didn't have good data on it, so we took a look at it to see what the actual risk would be," Smith added.