Chemical analysis, prevention, and low-level dosimetry of heterocyclic amines from cooked food

James S. Felton, Mark G. Knize, Michelle Roper, Esther Fultz, Nancy H. Shen, Ken W Turteltaub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Potent mutagenic and carcinogenic heterocyclic amines are produced from heated food derived from muscle. These compounds are present at part-per-billion levels and consist primarily of the amino-imidazoazaarene class of chemicals. Additional mutagens present in the meat are not as clearly characterized. Commercial fried-beef patties (hamburgers) have low levels of 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) and 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (4,8-DiMeIQx), 0.1-0.68 ng/g meat for MeIQx and slightly lower for 4,8-DiMeIQx. The formation of these heterocyclic amines can be reduced by microwave pretreatment of meat, with the resulting liquid being poured off before frying. The Ames/Salmonella mutagenic activity was reduced to 5-10% of that of non-microwave-treated samples. MeIQx and DiMeIQx concentrations were reduced to 12% and 50% of levels in the non-microwave-treated samples, respectively. MeIQx adducts, as measured by accelerator mass spectrometry, were found to be linear with doses from 5 mg/kg to 500 ng/kg. Linear DNA binding at low doses is important for assuming linear risk estimation from the high animal-feeding doses causing cancer to the low human-dietary exposures. Extrapolating from the rodent TD50 dose to humans gives a maximum credible risk from consumption of heterocyclic amines of approximately I/1000 exposed individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCancer Research
Issue number7 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical analysis, prevention, and low-level dosimetry of heterocyclic amines from cooked food'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this