The chemical called bezopyrene, which is a known carcinogen, forms when the combustion process has not proceeded to completion. At such a time, benzopyrene-filled products, such as smoke arise from whatever has caught fire. Our awareness of this fact, has given rise to concerns about the wisdom of eating meat that is extremely well-done.
Such meat might be served at a barbeque. Hence, it seems that someone invited to a barbeque would stay free of danger by eating foods other than meat. Now, however, newer evidence indicates that a food other than meat could contain a chemical that equals benzopyrene in its ability to damage the human system.
Foods cooked at a high temperature form a compound called acrylamide. Men and women that work in an industrial environment have heard the word acrylamide. That compound can be found in the by-products released by plants that make paper, photographic film, varnishes, dyes or adhesives for construction projects.
The toxic nature of that particular compound, when it exists alone in the environment goes unquestioned. Now scientists have tried to determine the extent to which acrylamide’s presence in a food could detract from the appeal of that same edible substance. Their efforts have shed more light on the dangers faced by a lover of barbeques.
As the scientists’ studies got underway, the investigators suspected that acrylamide formation took place in protein-rich foods. Then, as the investigation proceeded, it became evident that the chemical being studied normally formed in carbohydrate-rich foods. Data from the research showed that certain cooking processes invite the occurrence of an acrylamide-forming reaction.
The processes pointed to by the researchers were those that pushed a food’s temperature to 250 degrees F. or higher. Such temperatures develop when a cook prepares a dish by frying, baking or roasting one or more of its ingredients. Those temperatures fuel an acrylamide-forming reaction when they introduce sufficient heat to a mixture that contains both carbohydrates and the amino acids known as asparagines.
Like carbohydrates, fats can serve as the fuel required for carrying out a reaction of significance, but one that yields the same product (acrylamide). Oxidation of fats, as can occur when those fatty substances get heated, causes the formation of acrylic acid. Acrylamide’s formation from acrylic acid proceeds in the presence of the same high temperatures.
While meat might seem to be the chief ingredient at a barbeque, such an occasion would not produce such excitement, if those present got only a meaty but dry and lean substance. Consider, however, what normally takes place at such an event. There the cook gets a chance to work with fatty substances, and also sweet sauces.
The sauces’ sweetness offers proof that those same sweet substances contain a known carbohydrate. In other words, that carbohydrate can undergo an unwanted reaction, if subjected to a sufficient amount of heat. By the same token, any fats present could get oxidized, thus forming acrylic acid. Hence, a third possible source of carcinogens has been added to the meat on the grill and the smoking charcoal under that same grill.
Source: Healthy Critics – Food | September 23, 2016
NOTE: Besides the use of charcoal or wood, any other traditional/conventional Barbeque methods like char-broilers also produces carcinogens (HPA and AHC).