He forgets for a while the arepa he left warming in the kitchen and when he returns it is burnt. The same thing could happen with bread and other foods. What do you do in this situation? Do you eat the burnt food or throw it away?
If the answer is that you eat the food even if it is burned, you may be putting your health at risk. It turns out that when a food is exposed to high temperatures, it releases several chemicals that can cause everything from metabolic problems to diseases like cancer.
Foods cooked at high temperatures produce a variety of compounds that can be toxic to the body, according to the 2018 study “Toxicological Aspects of Maillard Browning Products” published in Current Opinion in Food Science.
For example, the study “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in food and estimated dietary intake in Korea,” published in the Journal of Food Science, found that burned foods had higher concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemical compounds known for their carcinogenic potential .
In addition, acrylamide, a chemical substance that is produced when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures, is also produced. Since 1994, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
When a food is made of starch and undergoes high cooking temperatures, whether frying, roasting or grilling, it produces this substance acrylamide and is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, according to the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency of the government’s Ministry of Food Consumer Affairs . from Spain.
What happens to this substance is that when the body metabolizes it, it converts it into glycidamide, a genotoxic and carcinogenic metabolite to the body.
Some nutrients are lost
In addition to substances that can be toxic and deadly, the study “Effects of Cooking Techniques on Plant Nutrient Content,” published in the Journal of Food Science, showed that prolonged exposure to heat can lead to the loss of essential nutrients in foods.
The study shows how certain cooking techniques, such as over-frying or roasting, can significantly reduce the concentration of vitamins and minerals in vegetables.
Meat is also a food that burning can be harmful to your health. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), meat, whether beef, fish, pork or poultry, contains unhealthy chemicals such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are formed after cooking at high temperatures such as grilling or frying .
Carcinogenic compounds, acrylamide formation, and loss of essential nutrients are some of the dangers associated with this practice. It is important to exercise caution when cooking food and avoid overcooking or prolonged exposure to heat.