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Determination of Heterocyclic Amines in Ready to Eat Chicken Kabab Commercially Available from Pakistani Markets

Determination of Heterocyclic Amines in Ready to Eat Chicken Kabab Commercially Available from Pakistani Markets

Ishrat Perveen1, Yasar Saleem2 and Javed Iqbal Qazi3* 

1Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2Biotechnology and Food Research Centre, PCSIR Labs Complex, Ferozpur Road, Lahore, Pakistan
3Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore-54600, Pakistan.

*      Corresponding author:


Presence of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) in high proteinaceous food specifically in cooked meats is a point of great concern for the health risk factor of Pakistani community. Ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken kabab samples of four commercially available brands (K, S, D and B) were analysed for the simultaneous determination of HCAs i.e. 2-amino-3-methyl-imidazo[4,5-f] quinoline (IQ), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoxaline (MeIQx) and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhlP) using HPLC-UV detector. Quantitative analysis of the control samples (only thawed at room temperature) revealed presence of HCAs in K, S, D and B brands with respective values of 0.97, 1.09, 5.63 and 13.66 µg/g. The high thermal cookings of the RTE samples enhanced the levels of HCAs. Microwave cooking was found to produce highest total HCAs contents (0.71-35 µg/g) followed by deep-frying (1.62-22.21 µg/g) and pan-frying (1.11-8.57 µg/g) of the RTE chicken kabab samples. Highest level of IQ appeared following microwave cooking (nd-35µg/g) followed by pan-frying (0.25-7.48 µg/g), deep-frying (nd-2.3 µg/g) and defrosting (nd-0.2 µg/g). It is speculated from our results that dietary intake of 40g RTE ckicken kabab /day indicates a relatively very high consumption of HCAs/day which may catch the level up to 1.4 mg/d. To the best knowledge of the authors, it is the highest known dietary consumption value of HCAs worldwide. This study presents a plausible positive association between the high temperature cooking methods and higher quantities of HCAs in RTE Chicken kabab commercially available from Pakistani markets.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 52, Iss. 5, Pages 1631-2026


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