The team from Kansas State University has found that marinating meat before grilling can reduce cancer-forming compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA) produced, by over 70 percent.
They tested three commercial spice-containing marinade blends (Caribbean, southwest, and herb) on round beefsteaks.
The steaks were marinated for one hour and then grilled at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The team found that steaks marinated in the Caribbean blend decreased the HCA content by 88 percent, followed by the herb blend by 72 percent and then the southwest blend by 57 percent.
"Commercial marinades offer spices and herbs which have antioxidants that help decrease the HCAs formed during grilling," said Dr. J.S. Smith, principal researcher at Kansas State University.
"The results from our study have a direct application since more consumers are interested in healthier cooking," he added.
The study is published in the Journal of Food Science.