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Effect of fatty acid on the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the proposed formation mechanism during electric roasting

Congcong Liu (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Chong Wang (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Keping Ye (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Yun Bai (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Xiaobo Yu (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Chunbao Li (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)
Guanghong Zhou (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 18 October 2019

Issue publication date: 27 November 2019



The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the influences of the animal fat and fatty acid type on the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and to propose a formation mechanism of PAHs in fat during electric roasting, which is a method of non-direct-contact-flame heating.


The effects of animal fats and model fat on the formation of PAHs were valued on the basis of the ultra high-performance liquid chromatography data. The corresponding products of the FAME pyrolysis were detected by TG-FTIR. The proposal formation mechanism of PAHs was based on the summary of the literature.


Contrary to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, DF had higher risk with 280.53 ng/g of concentration after being roasted than the others animal fats of red meat in terms of PAHs formation. This research also ensured the importance of fat on PAHs formation, the concentration of PAHs in pure fats was higher after being electric roasted than that in meat patties and juice which made from corresponding animal fat. What is more, during pure animal fats and meat products being processed, less PAHs formed in the fat with lower extent of unsaturation and lower content of linolenate. In the same way, methyl linolenate demonstrated the significant increasement to PAHs formation compared to the other fatty acids. And, the number of carbon atom and the extent of unsaturation in fatty acid affects the formation of PAHs during roasting. The detection of alkene and alkane allows to propose a formation mechanism of PAHs during model fat being heated. Further study is required to elucidate the confirm moleculars during the formation of PAHs.


This work studied the effect of the carbon atom number and the unsaturation extent of fats and model fats on the formation of PAHs. This work also assure the important of alkene and alkane on the pyrolysis of model fats. This study also researched the formation and distribution of PAHs in pure fats and meat products after being heated.



This research was funded by the Chinese Agricultural Research System (CARS-35). The authors declare no competing financial interest.


Liu, C., Wang, C., Ye, K., Bai, Y., Yu, X., Li, C. and Zhou, G. (2019), "Effect of fatty acid on the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the proposed formation mechanism during electric roasting", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 12, pp. 3193-3207.



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