The presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in food products and their relationship with the cooking method and nature of the food

Abstract Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) can be associated with carcinogenesis in humans. These elements enter the body via the gastrointestinal tract, making the diet an important contamination route. The objective of this review was to analyze the comprehensive relationship between the formation/ingestion of these compounds and the diet. A significant association was found between the cooking method and the increase in PAH levels in foods and the formation of new compounds. The thermal source applied, food composition, type of oil, especially in the frying processes, as well as the type of treatment used before cooking, influenced the PAH content in the final product. Brazilian legislation for these compounds is not comprehensive and the need to expand national standards becomes even more evident when this issue is seen as a matter of Food Safety.