Can Marinating Chicken Prior To Grilling Reduce The Amount Of Carcinogens?

2118 words - 9 pages

My project is: Can marinating chicken prior to grilling reduce the amount of carcinogens? Carcinogens are basically substances that are capable of causing cancer. Two examples of carcinogens are heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s). Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are simply chemicals formed when meat is cooked at very high temperatures. I think that if I marinate the chicken breast before grilling it, then it will reduce the amount of carcinogens present in the meat because I learned from my biology class about proteins denaturing, or taking away, from acids. I was watching my mom make chicken the other day for dinner and she marinated the chicken in lemon juice. While I was watching her, I observed that the edges of the chicken breast had turned white. I was wondering if this denaturing process could obstruct the formation of heterocyclic amines to decrease the risk of cancer from grilled chicken breast.
Carcinogens are substances that are capable of causing cancer. When a cell’s DNA changes, cancer is caused. Not all carcinogens affect DNA directly, but cause cancer in other ways. An example would be that the carcinogens could increase the probability that DNA changes will happen if the carcinogens cause the cells to split apart at a rate faster than normal. Exposure to carcinogens will not cause cancer every time. There are many ways to get exposed to carcinogens that are very common such as ultraviolet light, radon gas, pollution, and workplace/ household exposures, but not all of them will lead to cancer because they have “different levels of cancer-causing potential”. After prolonged and high levels of exposure, some carcinogens can cause cancer. It doesn’t mean that everyone who is exposed to carcinogens will get cancer because it also depends on other factors such as how they are exposed to the carcinogen, the length and level of the exposure, and the person’s basic genetic makeup. Scientists use a few ways to test if something is carcinogenic but there is not always a way to give clear answers. One way to test the substance is that they can compare it to a chemical similar to it that has already been studied. Another way is to test the substance on lab animals. It is stated that even though lab studies are okay to give vague answers, lab studies can’t always see if the substance will cause cancer in actual human beings. This is because virtually all known human carcinogens that have already been tested, have been found to also cause cancer in lab animals. Most of the time, carcinogens that cause cancers in animals are almost always later found to cause cancer in humans. During most of the scientific studies on carcinogens, when scientists test them on lab animals, the doses of exposure of “potential carcinogens” are much more extreme than what humans are usually exposed to. Even though the carcinogen substances are tested with lab animals, it is not always clear if...

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