09:58 09 January 2009
For many men the prospect of a juicy steak (not too well done) and a beer (never too cold) is a tasty and sinful pleasure never before associated with good health.
However the good news is that frying a steak in beer has been proven to kill off chemicals that can cause, according to new research.
Cooking the red meat in red wine also has a similar effect according to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
High temperatures when preparing food cause sugar and protein in meat to convert into heterocyclic amines (known as HAs). Grilled and fried foods are particularly rich in the dangerous compound.
Two types of HA are cut by up to 90% in meat which has been marinated in red wine or beer due to its sugar and alcohol content.
For a third type of HA, beer works even better than red wine and managed to break down the chemical after just four hours of marinating.
Isabel Ferreira and colleagues at the University of Porto in Portugal found that using beer also made the meat look, smell and taste better than the wine-marinated steak.
New Scientist magazine stated: "Tasters also preferred the smell, taste and appearance of beer-marinated steak
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The researchers believe the alcoholic sauce cuts levels of the carcinogen by acting as a barrier preventing water-soluble molecules moving to the surface of the steak where they would be turned into HAs by the high temperature.