Influence of antioxidants in virgine olive oil on the formation of heterocyclic amines in fried beefburgers.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An association between the intake of heterocyclic amines (HAs) and the development of cancer has been observed in some epidemiological studies, while in other studies no such correlation has been found. HAs are mutagenic/carcinogenic compounds formed at low levels via the Maillard reaction and a free radical mechanism during cooking of animal tissue. The addition of pure antioxidants or foods containing antioxidants has previously been shown to decrease the amount of HAs formed during cooking. In this study, beefburgers were fried in six different oils: refined olive oil, virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil depleted of phenols, rapeseed oil, virgin olive oil with rosemary extract and refined olive oil with rosemary extract. The content of antioxidative compounds in the virgin olive oil and the rosemary extract was determined. The beefburgers were analysed with regards to 12 different HAs by solid phase extraction and HPLC analysis. MeIQx, 4,8-DiMeIQx, PhIP, Harman and Norharman were detected in all beefburgers fried in the different oils, but the relative amounts varied. Frying in virgin olive oil reduced the formation of HAs compared with refined olive oil. This effect is probably due to the content of phenols in the virgin olive oil. The HA-reducing effect of virgin olive oil decreased during storage, but the addition of rosemary extract may prevent this decrease.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Rapeseed oil, Virgin olive oil, Rosemary, Heterocyclic amines, Beefburger, Frying, Antioxidant
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1587-1597
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry (011001300)