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This comparative study shows that microwaving chicken legs produces less heterocyclic amines which are cancer-causing compounds, than frying them does.
Formation of heterocyclic amines in cooked chicken legs
C. P. Chiu, D. Y. Yang, B. H. Chen
The effects of frying and microwave cooking on generation of heterocyclic amines (HAs) in chicken legs with skin and without skin were studied. Chicken legs were microwave-cooked at 2,450 MHz for 5, 10, and 15 min with an output power of 700 W. Frying of chicken legs was conducted at 100 and 150 degrees C for 15 min and at 200 degrees C for 5, 10, and 15 min. The various HAs were analyzed by HPLC with diode-array detection. Results showed that both the varieties and contents of HAs and the weight losses of chicken legs increased along with increasing cooking temperature and time. With skin both the amounts of HAs and weight losses of chicken legs were less than those without skin under the same heating conditions. The weight losses of microwave-cooked chicken legs were higher than those of fried chicken legs. The formation of the aminomethylimidazoquinoline type of HAs could be reduced by choosing microwave cooking in place of frying. Frying led to the formation of both the aminomethylimidazoquinoline and the carboline types of HAs.