Aromatic heterocyclic amines (AHAs) are present in cooked meats, and are formed via the Maillard reaction having as precursors cretin, creatinine, amino acids and sugars. The most common are 2-amino-3-methylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoline (IQ), 2-amino-3-methylimidazo [4,5- f] quinoxylanine (Ix), 2-amino -3,4-dimethylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoline (MeIQ), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo [4,5- f] quinoxylanine (MeIQx), 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoxaline (4,8-DiMeIQx) and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). IARC classifies IQ as a probable human carcinogen (Group 2A), MeIQ, MeIQx and PhIP as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B), while IQx and 4,8 - DiMeIQx do not present any type of classification. There are no maximum limits for AHAs established for food in the European Community, the United States or Brazil. The studies in Brazil aiming to determine the concentrations of AHAs in foods consumed by the population are scarce, and the present project aims to evaluate the incidence of AHAs (IQ, IQx, MeIQ, MeIQx, DiMeIQx and PhIP) in ready to eat products prepared with bovine and chicken meat, in order to evaluate the levels of exposure of the population to these compounds through their ingestion, as well as to characterize the risk associated with this exposure. To achieve the objectives of this project, the analytical method for the quantification of AHAs in ready to eat meat products will be evaluated and validated. Liquid chromatography with spectrophotometric (UV-Vis) and fluorescence detectors will be used for the determination of AHAs. Data will be tabulated and used in the exposure assessment calculations.
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