Quantitative Cancer Risk Assessment of Heterocyclic Amines in Cooked Foods
Heterocyclic amines, which can be formed during the cooking of food, represent a subclass of chemical carcinogens that are structurally and biologically related to the bicyclic and polycyclic aromatic amines. The latter, which include 2-naphthylamine and 4-amino-biphenyl, are generally recognized as strong carcinogens in both humans and dogs and, to a lesser extent, in rodent bioassays. Several heterocyclic amines have tested positive for carcinogenicity in rats and mice in chronic feeding studies and after single subcutaneous doses in neonatal mice. Several investigators reported the development of sensitive methods for the determination of heterocyclic amines in cooked foods, especially meats. Certain heterocyclic amines are known to be carcinogenic in animal bioassays, to be metabolically activated by human tissue, and to be present in cooked meats, it was of interest to estimate the potential risk of cancer for humans consuming these foods. The cancer risks estimated from the animal bioassays are based on the concentration of heterocyclic amines in the total diet.