Estimating the burden of disease associated with the formation of harmful components during heat-treatment of meats

Project Details


Heat-treatment of meat using traditional procedures such as frying, barbecuing and smoking can lead to the formation of several harmful components, such as carcinogens, including heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Epidemiological studies have shown an increased risk of different types of cancer after the consumption of meat prepared with different cooking practices. Nonetheless, there is currently limited information on individual’s intake of these compounds, and no knowledge on their contribution to the disease burden of different types of cancer.

The aim of this project is to estimate the burden of disease due to the intake of chemical components formed during processing of meats in the Danish population. The specific objectives are:

1) To estimate the exposure of these compounds through consumption of all types of meats (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, game, fish) processed by different methods (barbecuing, frying and smoking) in the Danish population.

2) To develop health-outcome trees for the specified hazards, i.e. defining all potential health outcomes following exposure, as well as the probability of their occurrence. This includes the establishment of a dose response relationship.

3) To estimate the burden of disease in the population associated to exposure to these hazards through consumption of processed meats using disability adjusted life years (DALYs) as metrics.

This project is integrated in the Danish Initiative to Estimate the Burden of Food-Associated Diseases.
Effective start/end date01/09/2013 → 14/12/2014


  • Burden of Disease
  • Chemical Hazards
  • DALYs


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