Monday, December 20, 2010

Adding oregano reduces cancer in grilled meat

Sadhana Ravishankar has found a compound in oregano that reduces formation of potentially cancerous molecules in grilled meat. (Photo by Beatriz Verdugo/UANews)

By Shelley Littin
NASA Space Grant Intern
University Communications

Adding oregano to meat before grilling could reduce the formation of potentially cancer-causing compounds by up to 78 percent, University of Arizona (UA) researchers have found. The spice also helps inactivate harmful E. coli O157:H7 in the meat.

Research conducted by UA microbiologist Sadhana Ravishankar has shown that a compound in oregano reduces the formation of heterocyclic amines, the potentially cancer-causing culprits that can form in grilled meat.

"We are preventing the formation of potentially carcinogenic compounds in the grilled meat itself, so people can eat safer grilled meat," said Ravishankar, an assistant professor in the UA's department of veterinary science and microbiology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Her study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food.

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