There are so many reasons why we all love grilled meat. First is the flavor. Then there is the fact that grilling meat is fun to do, especially, with guests or friends over. However, in unfortunate news, the great taste that comes with grilled meat compromises on the health quality of the meat. The process of barbecuing meat leads to the formation of Polycyclic Aromatic Carbons (PAH). This is due to the intensive burning of proteins and fat present in meat. These are free radicals that have the ability to alter DNA. Therefore, taking grilled meat can in the long run lead to colon cancer.

That was the bad news. Now here is the good news- Isabel Ferreira, from the University of Porto, and other researchers have found that this impact could be reduced by adding beer. From the Agriculture and Food Chemistry Journal that Dr. Ferreira and the others wrote, you can see that they first conducted an experiment to see if this really works.

Beer is one of the most powerful antioxidants. When burnt, beer produce melanoidins, which performs the role of countering free radicals. Therefore, if it is added to the grilling meat, it will help prevent the production of the Polycyclic Aromatic carbons.

The experiment was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the researchers use Pilsner, which is a pale lager. In the second phase, they repeated the same experiment, but used black beer in this case. They found that few of the PAHs formed when the pale beer was used (18 nanograms PAHs per gram of barbecued meat) and even fewer when the black beer was used (10 nanograms of PAHs per a gram of grilled meat). The varying results were caused by the melanoidins content difference in the two types of beer. Black beers have have a melanoidin content than pale beers and hence are more effective.

Bottomline is, whatever type of beer is used in grilling your meat, and you will be a step closer to eradicating those free radicals in your meat completely.


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