Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Food Samples Collected in Barcelona, Spain

Authors: Fontcuberta, M.; Arqués, J. F.; Martínez, M.; Suárez, A.; Villalbí, J. R.; Centrich, F.; Serrahima, E.; Duran, J.; Casas, C.

Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 8, August 2006, pp. 1768-2035 , pp. 2024-2028(5)

Publisher: International Association for Food Protection

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This study reports on the concentrations of eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in food samples collected in the city of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) from 2003 to 2004. Food samples included meat products, fish (fresh and smoked), other seafood (cephalopods, crustaceans, and bivalves), vegetable oil, and tea. Concentrations of benz[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[g,h,i]perylene, benzo[α]pyrene, benzo[e]pyrene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene, and indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene were determined by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. PAHs were detected in most tea samples (94%), which had the highest concentration of total PAHs (mean concentration of 59 μg/kg). Other food groups with a high presence of PAHs were bivalves (present in 34% of the samples; mean value of 2.7 μg/kg) and meat products (present in 13% of the samples; mean value of 1.7 μg/kg). The PAHs detected most frequently were benzo[e]pyrene and benzo[b]fluoranthene. No sample had levels above current regulation standards. Nevertheless, the frequent presence of PAHs in bivalves, tea samples, and meat products, together with the fact that dietary sources are the main exposure to these carcinogenic compounds, suggests the need for some monitoring scheme to follow up on these trends.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona (ASPB, Public Health Agency of Barcelona), Av Drassanes 13, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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