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article imageAdding Rosemary to Your Steak Could Prevent Cancer?

By Chris V. Thangham     May 25, 2008 in Health
Kansas State University researchers find rosemary herb not only adds flavor to steaks but helps prevent cancer by reducing cancer causing compounds called HCAs while cooking.
The scientists find by adding rosemary herb to hamburgers, it breaks up potentially cancer-causing compounds called HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which begins to form when the meat is cooked.
HCAs become pronounced when beef is cooked at higher temperatures for a longer period of time.
Previous studies showed that meat products cooked below 352 degrees Fahrenheit for less than four minutes had low or undetectable levels of HCAs. The HCAs would increase as temperature and cooking time increased. Lower temperatures can affect the taste adversely, the commercial steak houses cook at temperatures above 400 degrees F.
Researchers at the Kansas State University find by adding rosemary to beef patties, it reduced the HCAs by 30 to 100 percent. They say rosemary’s antioxidant properties help reduce HCAs.
Some do not like the flavor of rosemary, they can use the rosemary extract instead by rubbing the extract on steaks before grilling.
Food science professor, J. Scott Smith, told
“Rosemary extracts shouldn’t have much of an aroma to them. Most people don’t want a rosemary-flavored burger. So if you get the extract you don’t really know it’s there,”
Smith’s team has done similar studies before, when they marinated steaks with certain herbs and spices and found them to reduce HCAs also.
They also recommend basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano and thyme, all of which are rich in antioxidants.
When you are cooking burgers or steaks this summer, use any of these herbs and spices, all will help reduce HCAs.
To find additional details about the article contact University of Arkansas. They have published this article in Food Safety Consortium magazine (2008, May 24), "To Block The Carcinogens, Add A Touch Of Rosemary When Grilling Meats".
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