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Is Gravy High in Purines?
Is Gravy High in Purines?

Gravy is often mentioned in gout forums. Yet it's hard to find true facts about purines in gravy. So here are a couple of summaries.

Purines In Gravy Research Topics

Gravy research is rare. But gravy research for purines, uric acid, and gout is almost unheard of. So I've just found two studies so far. Focussing on the parts related to gravy, here are my summaries of the purine experiments.

Purines in Chicken Gravy

My first study recognizes that different types of purine in food cause different changes in human uric acid after consumption. It also recognizes that the limited amount of purine data available indicates that purine content varies across different parts of chickens. And if it is raw or cooked. So the researchers seek to clarify purine levels in broiled chicken breast. And in boiled chicken thigh. With a third experiment on chicken cooking juices. Referred to as “drippings”.

I'm focused on that third experiment here. Since those drippings form a significant part of chicken gravy. Now, this experiment reports the dry weight of hypoxanthine only. Because the first two experiments indicate that only hypoxanthine was lost from chicken meat during cooking. Also, they point out that it is difficult to calculate a purine level for gravy. As drippings are mixed with various other ingredients, and the resulting gravy is reduced by varying degrees.

However, the researchers report that the hypoxanthine content of chicken drippings is 11.11 mg/gram dry weight. Compared to 3-5 mg/gram in chicken meat. So, despite the difficulties in measuring the purine content of chicken gravy, the researchers conclude that it is likely to be high enough to justify a warning.

YOUNG, L.L., 1982. Purine content of raw and roasted chicken broiler meat. Journal of Food Science, 47(4), pp.1374-1375.

the solid content of the cooking juices might be influenced by the amount of chicken meat cooked in one pan, whether or not the pan was covered, the shape of the pan and many other factors. Nevertheless, the data do confirm that hypoxanthine was lost from the meat into the cooking juices. These findings indicate that physicians and dietitians should be cognizant of the potentially high levels of hypoxanthine in sauces, gravies or other products made from chicken drippings.

Purines in Gravy Drippings

My second study was designed to reduce purine content in meat by washing. However, here I focus on their second outcome. Being the effect of cooking on the purine content of beef and turkey.

In fact, the cooking experiment covered ground turkey, ground 7% fat beef, and ground 25% fat beef. Where meat was either sautéed and measured with drippings. Or broiled (grilled) and measured without drippings. Resulting in comparisons with and without drippings for purine levels.

For hypoxanthine (mg/gram dry weight), the study reports:

  • Ground turkey: sautéed 1.27; broiled 1.23; difference 0.04 (3%)
  • Ground beef 7% fat: sautéed 1.25; broiled 1.15; difference 0.10 (8%)
  • Ground beef 25% fat: sautéed 1.30; broiled 1.16; difference 0.14 (11%)

This study did not collect drippings from the broiled meat. Because the researcher was not trying to measure purine levels in gravy. Instead, he aimed to show how different preparation and cooking techniques can reduce purines in meat.

Ellington, A., 2007. Reduction of purine content in commonly consumed meat products through rinsing and cooking (Doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia).

The process of rinsing does have a significant impact on reducing the purine content of high purine foods such as ground beef and bacon. It is hypothesized that the purines are being released into the rinse water. An even greater reduction in purine content occurs after rinsing and subsequent cooking.

Is Gravy High in Purines?
Is Gravy High in Purines?

Your Purines In Gravy Research Story

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