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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Frying Oils and Snacks

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The high incidence of lung cancer observed among Chinese women has been associated with exposure to fumes from cooking oil. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of potentially mutagenic substances emitted from cooking oils heated at high temperatures. The objective of this study was to investigate whether deep frying with different oils under different conditions leads to the development of PAHs either in the oil or in the fried product (snacks). PAH analysis was carried out with solid-phase extraction followed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and spectrofluorometric detection. Different oils were used to fry chips and extruded snacks in different industrial plants (continuous frying) at temperatures between 170 and 205°C, and peanut oil was used to fry French fries and fish (discontinuous frying) at temperatures between 160 and 185°C. No appreciable differences in PAH load was observed in the same oil before and after frying. Both before and after frying, the benzo[a]pyrene concentration in oils ranged from trace to 0.7 ppb. All the analyzed samples, including oils from fried snacks, had benzo[a]pyrene concentrations well below the 2 ppb limit recently proposed by the European Community.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, University of Udine, Via Marangoni 97, 33100 Udine, Italy 2: Department of Food Science and Nutrition, CeRTA, University of Barcelona, Avinguda Joan XXII, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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