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TDK conference 2019

The effects of marinating on the formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and the microflora in poultry
Debreczeni Dorina - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Food Hygiene
Supervisor: Dr. Dániel Pleva


Many harmful substances may be produced during food preparation needing to be paid attention. Heat treatment has been used since ancient times. It makes food of both plant and animal origin microbiologically safer and it makes easier the uptake of nutrients. However, more and more research suggests that excessive heat treatment can cause problems including the development of potential carcinogenic compounds. Such genotoxic carcinogens are the heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) that are produced at high temperature in meat and fish meals.

According to the literature, pretreatment with marinades containing an antioxidant agent can be an effective method of decreasing the formation of HCA’s. Studies show that in addition to various vegetable and fruit extracts, many vitamins play an important role in reducing the amount of HCA’s. It is already proved that ascorbic acid has antioxidant activity but its effect on the formation of HCA’s is not clarified completely. The bacteriostatic or bactericidal activity of ascorbic acid is also unrevealed yet. Therefore the first part of our study is focused on the anti-HCA effect of ascorbic acid and the other part of it investigates the effect of ascorbic acid rich environment on Salmonella.

In our experiments we compared the effects of ascorbic acid in different areas. The study consisted of three parts: microbiology, food chemistry and digital spectral analysis.

The series of studies that includes my TDK thesis investigates in parallel the formation of HCA’s and the Salmonella content of samples that were previously artificially contaminated with Salmonella Entereitidis. In addition to the effect of ascorbic acid on the formation of HCA’s, its interaction with Salmonella was also investigated for its effect on microbiological safety.

During the microbiological examination, ascorbic acid was added to the flasks containing Salmonella Enteritidis in NaCl peptone water in different amounts and the chicken breast specimens were placed therein. After incubation, the Salmonella content of the meat was examined by redox potential measurement.

Similarly, in our food chemistry experiments slices treated with ascorbic acid marinade were grilled at 230 °C for 10 minutes using two-side grilling during which the core temperature was continuously measured. The inhibitory effect of ascorbic acid was followed by measuring the amount of five compounds (PhIP, MeIQx, DiMeIQx, harman, noharman) that are the focus of our study. Following the sample preparation the amount of heterocyclic amines was measured by UHPLC-MSMS.

As a result of our study the food chemical and microbiological properties of ascorbic acid, which are potentially beneficial in heat treatment, were further explored.

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