Scientists in China have found carbon dots on grilled hamburgers.
Intensively heating meat generates toxins such as benzene or polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Mingqian Tan, from Dalian Polytechnic University, wanted to find out whether heterocyclic amines, which are present in these types of toxins, react any further at the high temperatures typically found in barbecues to form carbon dots.
‘Scientists are aware of the presence of harmful toxins produced during food processing; however, our knowledge about their overall formation and potential toxicity is still insufficient,’ says Tan. ‘Carbon dots are harmful to human health due to their unique nano-effects, including their small size, high reactivity and phototoxic effects. We believe that these properties can cause damage to DNA and the cellular membranes,’ he adds.
This paper is free to access until 10th August 2017:
Presence and formation of fluorescence carbon dots in a grilled hamburger
Yao Li, Jingran Bi, Shan Liu, Haitao Wang, Chenxu Yu, Dongmei Li, Bei-Wei Zhu and Mingqian Tan
Food Funct., 2017, Advance Article