Evaluation of N-Nitrosamine Formation in Routine Potato Cooking



Background: Nitrosamine is amongst carcinogen chemical compounds, which can enter the human body through consumption of food. Potatoes are a root vegetable consumed by many people around the world, however their potential for nitrosamine formation during cooking processes needs to be considered for public health matters.

Objectives: In this study we evaluated the effect of conventional potato cooking method on N-nitrosamine compound formation.

Materials and Methods: The amounts of four nitrosamines, namely N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), N-nitrosopiperidine (NPIP) and N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR) were determined in four different potato-baking methods. Sixty potato samples were randomly collected from Hamadan city. Fried potato samples were roasted at 180°C and boiled potato samples were scalded at 120°C. Nitrosamine levels were measured using gas chromatography coupled with electronic ionization detector (GC-EID), and spectrophotometry was used for measuring nitrite.

Results: Fried samples that were measured by the gas chromatography method had the highest average levels of nitrosamine compounds; NDMA, 5.09 ng kg-1, and NDEA, 8.66 ng kg-1. Low levels of nitrosamine compounds were associated with raw potatoes, in which no nitrosamine compound was detected. Based on the analysis of the potato samples by spectrophotometry, the highest levels of nitrite was found in raw potatoes with a mean of 2.43 mg kg-1 and the lowest levels of nitrite were detected in boiled potatoes with an average of 1.172 mg kg-1.

Conclusions: Nitrosamine was formed with conventional potato baking methods with the most nitrosamine formation found on the surface fried samples. Nitrites amount in baked potatoes decreased. Generally, the amount of nitrosamine in baked potato samples was lower than acceptable limits.

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