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TDK conference 2020

Formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines in crabs during frying
Mong Balázs - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Food Hygiene
Supervisor: Dr. Katalin Lányi


Thermal processing of meat may lead to the formation of unintentional and undesired chemical substances, for example heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) discovered by Takeshi Sugimura in 1977. The observations of the Japanese researcher, as well as the experiments conducted since then, resulted in a growing knowledge-base on the harmful effects of these substances. HCAs are formed in meat above 150 ℃. Around two-dozen of them is carcinogenic and mutagenic during long-term exposure and is active already at ng/g concentrations levels. The amount of HCAs produced in meat is influenced by a number of factors: frying temperature and time, heat transfer technique, the presence of amino acids and other precursor compounds in the meat and so on. Several experiments are currently investigating the effects of HCAs on the human body, however, based on the results so far, these compounds may be associated with various types of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract (US FDA, UN WHO International Agency for Reasearch on Cancer). No published experiment could be found with crab in the current literature, so our work will be the first in this area. The aim of our research was to investigate whether and to what extent HCA compounds are produced in crab - as it was seen in red meat and poultry - as crab is increasingly consumed worldwide. In our study, we used three types of crabs (tiger crab, shrimp, cocktail crab) and examined the formation of harman, norharman, Trp, AaC, IQ, MeIQ, MeIQx, 4,8-diMeIQx, PhIP. Crabs purchased in frozen state were fried in oil at 180 ℃ for three different periods of time and then the amount of HCAs was measured by LC-MS/MS from the crab meat homogenate and the frying oil. The colour and the dry matter content of the fried crabs were measured instrumentally and sensory evaluation was also performed. Based on the results, it can be seen that the heat treatments applied on the crab meat produced orders of magnitude less HCA than in poultry or red meat. Co-carcinogenic harman and norharman were not detectable at all. HCA concentrations measured in the oil were also lower in this case compared to the concentrations measured when other kind of meats were used. In connection with the topic, a questionnaire survey was carried out for studying the acceptance of crab by the respondents, forms and venues of consuming it its place in the Hungarian gastronomy, and how healthy crab is considered to be. Based on the responses is can be said that crab is considered to be a healthy food. This consumer perception may also be confirmed by the very low amount of HCA measured in our trials.

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