Beer marinade could mean safer barbecues

Researchers at the Universidade do Porto in Portugal have found that using certain types of beer to marinate samples of pork before grilling resulted in lower levels of potentially carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the meat after cooking.

The team marinated pork samples for four hours in Pilsner beer, non-alcoholic Pilsner beer and a black beer ale and then grilled them to well done on a charcoal grill. Samples marinated in the black beer were shown to contain less than half the amount of eight important indicator PAHs than unmarinated pork. The other two beers also reduced PAH concentrations in the meat, but were significantly less effective.

It was previously known that beer marinades could reduce PAH production during grilling as a result of antiradical scavenging activity, but the effectiveness of different beer types has not been compared until now. The researchers suggest that marinating meat with black beer could be a useful mitigation strategy for PAHs formed during grilling.

The results of the study are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and an abstract can be found here.

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