I smoke a lot of meat and some vegetables, both for flavor and preservation. I use virtually no seasoning but my smokes are so heavy that the foods are coated with what I guess to be wood pyrolysis residues. Does anyone have any references on the carcinogeneity of this stuff when ingested? Mouth, esophagus, stomach and colon.
asked bythhq (10611)
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on November 17, 2012
at 10:30 PM
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed by the incomplete combustion of organic matter. A number of PAHs are carcinogenic and mutagenic. Certain cooking processes can form PAHs. The major dietary sources of PAHs are cereals and vegetables, rather than meat, except where there is high consumption of meat cooked over an open flame. If the meat is in direct contact with the flame, pyrolysis of the fats in the meat generates PAHs that can become deposited on the meat (source). You can reduce PAH production by cooking for longer periods at lower temperatures.
The most carcinogenic PAHs are the ones with 5- and 6- fused rings (a major one being benzo[a]pyrene).