Carcinogenic aminoimidazoazaarenes are formed during cooking of meat and fish. Important factors for the formation of these compounds are meat type, cooking temperature and time. The compounds are genotoxic in bacterial and mammalian cells. In animal feeding studies the compounds tested so far were found to be multiple organ carcinogens. The aminoimidazoazaarenes are metabolically activated by hydroxylation of the exocyclic aminogroup to the N-hydroxyamino derivative. The resultant proximate mutagens often need further activation by phase II transferases for formation of reactive species that form adducts with DNA. Adducts with 2-deoxyguanosine have been characterized for a number of aminoimidazoazaarenes. Adducts with DNA have also been found in animals after exposure to these compounds. In \:iw major metabolic detoxification pathways are ring hydroxylation followed by conjugation and conjugation of the exocyclic amino group. Estimations of human cancer risk have indicated that ingestion of food containing aminoimidazoazaarenes are of importance.