This page - rinsing cuts down purines - was last reviewed or updated on 26 February 2018
Firstly, before we look at the effect of rinsing on purines, should you rinse ?
TO RINSE OR NOT TO RINSE ?
You may believe that rinsing meat removes its bacteria; or you may believe that rinsing spreads bacteria to your sink, to surrounding surfaces, to nearby utensils, and to other foods. The current buzz word to describe this is cross-contamination. If you believe this argument you may consider taking more care that you have sanitised (sanitized) all surrounding areas and objects.
However, whether rinsed or not, it is more important to cook meat at a high enough temperature to destroy its bacteria. The temperatures to reach for different sorts of meat are mainly between 140° F (60° C) and 160° F (71.1 °C) Use a meat thermometer to check them.
Ultimately, you must decide if you think rinsing meat for the purpose of cutting down purines (as described below), is worth it. Rinsing cuts down purines by a useful amount. At least it did in this study (numbers below). A lowered purine intake should have a downwards effect on your blood uric acid, other factors being equal. And thus help to control your gout.
Or you may decide not to bother to rinse and thus give up this possibility of lowering purines' intake.
Rinsing and draining meat only takes a few minutes. Gout sufferers who are truly committed to lowering their uric acid by natural methods, will probably think it worth pursuing.
RINSING CUTS DOWN PURINES
What I explain here is one person's experiments into the effect of rinsing, draining and cooking some meats on their purines content. However, the rinsing effect (not the cooking which has a large gout-related literature) has never, as far as I know, been confirmed by other studies.
Nevertheless, what this gout researcher learnt was worth knowing. Few doctors will have heard of this study. Pass it on to him/her next time you visit.
But the experiment tested just three sorts of meat - ground (aka minced) beef, ground (minced) turkey and smoked bacon.
What about other beef cuts not tested in this study?
I don’t see why rinsing shouldn’t have an effect on other beef cuts too. Ground (minced) beef comes from more than one of the prime cuts of a cow. e.g. from the chuck, (clod, neck, shoulder), round, (thick flank), brisket, short rib, and others.
In this study we don't know which prime cuts the tested ground beef came from. But if it works with one sort of ground beef why not the rest of the cow ?
Purines are found throughout a cow’s body not just in parts that make the cuts that go into ground (minced) beef. And in this experiment purines in bacon also fell, so purines in pork cuts should too.
So what happened in the experiments ?
THE RINSING EXPERIMENTS
Gout researcher Anna Ellington wanted to find out whether rinsing, draining, centrifuging (spinning around a fixed axis - in this case spinning it dry, rather than draining), would affect meat's purine content. The rinse consisted of five parts water to one part meat and two different rinse times - a two and a five minutes' rinse. She also measured the effect of two cooking methods, sautéing and grilling, on purines in ground (minced) beef and ground (minced) turkey. And of frying bacon in a frying pan.
She used two types of equipment that would not be found it the average home kitchen. First a centrifuger; to spin it dry after rinsing, and secondly she rinsed with de-ionised water chilled to 4 C. Instead, you could rinse, as you probably do, with cold water, and drain to remove the water, to likely do most of what she did. In the experiment centrifuging cut purines down even more.
There were a huge number of figures in her report covering 4 types of meat, (see below), two rinses (the 2 minutes and the 5 minutes) for the four purine bases namely - adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine and xanthine; and 3 methods of cooking - sautéing and grilling for the ground beef and ground turkey; frying in a pan for the bacon.
But to keep this simple I'll discuss the main results.
Note the results are expressed in mg of purines per gram of protein in the food, not the mg of purines (or uric acid) per 100 grams of meat which is more typical of the way purines' amounts in foods are stated.
RESULTS OF RINSING AND COOKING ON MEAT PURINES' AMOUNTS
Did the rinsing reduce all the tested meat purines? They did for the two ground (minced ) beef samples; they did for the smoked bacon ; but not really for the ground (minced) turkey after rinsing. However, cooking turkey did have an effect.
* Ground (minced) 25% fat beef - after rinsing, the total purine content fell quite significantly from 8.58 mg/ per gram of protein to a range of 5.17 - 7.26 mg/ per gram of protein, after rinsing. After cooking as well as rinsing, the fall was greater; from 8.58 down to 4.59 - 6.32 mg/per 1 gram of protein.
In percent terms, using the middle number of the range that's reductions of 27.8% and 36.4%.
* Ground (minced) 7% fat beef - the total purine content also fell quite significantly. From 7.60 mg/per gram of protein down to 5.07- 5.59 after rinsing. After cooking as well as rinsing the fall was also greater 4.38 - 5.52 mg/ per 1 gram of protein.
In percent terms, using the middle number of the range, that's reductions of 29.8% and 34.8%.
* Ground (minced) turkey - rinsing did not significantly affect its purines, but there was a useful reduction after cooking.
* Bacon - the total purine content also fell significantly. From 6.06 mg/per 1 gram of protein down to 4.73, 21.9%, (2 mins rinse) and 4.49, 25.9% (5 mins rinse), after both rinsing and cooking.
Note The longer 5 minutes' rinse usually lowered purines more than the 2 minutes' one.
Although not exactly comparable, the reductions here were as good, or better, than those in a low purine diet study
So there you are. Rinse your ground (minced) beef, and your bacon, and you should consume fewer purines. And maybe by rinsing all your meat too.
If you wish to download the whole report - it's here. The explanation of the rinsing begins on the pdf page number 43 (not the different study page number) up to the end at pdf page 71. Copy and paste
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