Background: Gastric adenocarcinoma is the fourth most common malignancy worldwide and is globally the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths each year. Salted foods and exposure to H. pylori infection during the infancy have been considered the most important environment risk factors for gastric cancer. Despites increased access to electric energy, allowing the use of refrigerators to better conserve foods, many people keep consuming salted food, by washing them before eating with the intention of reducing salted flavor and also supposing to decrease or avoid risk of diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of reducing nitrites levels in salted fish by washing the fish before consuming, to find if washing salted food should be an efficient measure to reduce, or even avoid, the nitrites related gastric cancer risk.
Methods: Nine paired samples of fresh and salted fish and 20 additional samples of salted fish were taken for analyses. The nine paired samples were used to comparison of nitrites levels between salted and fresh fish, and the 20 additional salted fish samples for analyses of the effect of washing the fish in reducing nitrites levels. To simulate the usual procedure of living salted fish submersed in fresh water before consumption, we kept the salted samples under water during different periods of time and checked the nitrites levels at each “washing time”. For every experiment a p value of 0•05 was considered, and t-student tests were performed.
Results: The washing procedure did not reduce significantly the nitrites levels in salted fish, even after long periods of immersion (p=0•807), and the levels of nitrites in washed salted fish remained much higher than that of the fresh samples, maintaining the consumers exposed to nitrites, known carcinogens related to gastric cancer, and giving an equivocal and hazard feeling of protection to the population. Conclusion: Salted fish has higher concentration of nitrites compared to fresh. Washing, or living salted fish under water, does not provide significant decrease of the nitrites levels.
Published on: Mar 7, 2016 Pages: 7-9