Hot Dogs Better Health
J. Scott Smith, professor of food chemistry, and a K-State research team have been looking at such ready-to-eat meat products to determine their levels of heterocyclic amines, or HCAs. These are carcinogenic compounds found in meat that is fried, grilled or cooked at high temperatures. Studies have shown that humans who consume large amounts of HCAs in meat products have increased risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
Ready-to-eat meat products are meat or poultry products that come in edible forms and don’t need additional preparation or cooking.
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The study focused on eight types of ready-to-eat meat products: beef hot dogs, beef-pork-turkey hot dogs, deli roast beef, deli ham, deli turkey, fully cooked bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken.
The researchers heated up the hot dogs and bacon in a microwave, cooked the pepperoni on a pizza either in the oven or a microwave and used the chicken and deli meat as obtained. After doing so, they studied the meat to determine whether it contained five different types of HCAs according to nanograms per gram, ng/g.
Pepperoni had the least HCA content, 0.05 ng/g, followed by hot dogs and deli meat, 0.5 ng/g). Such amounts are low, and the researchers concluded that consuming such ready-to-eat meat products contributes very little to HCA intake.