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POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAHs) IN FOOD

Objective


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are a broad class of environmental contaminants which arise mainly through incomplete combustion processes. Their high genotoxic activity requires that the compounds are determined at low levels (ug/kg) which poses considerable analytical difficulty. The food industry has set a maximum permissible limit for benz(a)pyrene in refined edible oil of 1 ug/kg. The objective of the project was to improve the accuracy of the determination through intercomparisons and to prepare certified reference materials (CRM).

Four intercomparisons have been carried out at progressively lower PAH levels. Initially only calibration and instrumental aspects were considered. In the second study, 5 representative PAHs in a highly contaminated coconut oil (benz(a)pyrene content of around 40 ug/kg) and green kale were analysed. Serious discrepancies were observed. In the next study, participants analysed a coconut oil which had been prepared by the coordinating laboratory who added known amounts of 5 compounds (benz(a)pyrene content of 13 ug/kg) to an almost blank oil. Considerable improvement was observed and biased methods were identified. The fourth study involved a typical semirefined food oil with a benz(a)pyrene content of around 4 ug/kg and showed that certification of a reference material at this level is now possible.
PAHs are a broad class of environmental contaminants which arise mainly through incomplete combustion processes (in auto-exhaust, fossil-fuel power-generators, etc...). As many PAHs are potent mutagens or carcinogens, their presence in foods is carefully monitored. Their high genotoxic activity requires that the compounds are determined at low levels (ug/kg) which poses considerable analytical difficulty.
The food industry has set a maximum permissible limit for benz (a) pyrene in refined edible oil of 1 ug/kg.
The objective is to improve the accuracy of the determination through intercomparisons and to prepare CRMs.

Coordinator

Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieuhygiene
Address

3720 BA Bilthoven
Netherlands

Participants (18)

Biochemisches Institut für Umweltcarcinogene
Germany
Address
Sieker Landstraße 19
22926 Ahrensburg
Bundesanstalt für Fleischforschung
Germany
Address
E-c-baumann-straße 20
95326 Kulmbach
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM)
France
Address
292 Rue St Martin
75141 Paris
FEDERAL INSTITUTE FOR MATERIAL RESEARCH AND TESTING
Germany
Address
87,Unter Der Eichen 87
12205 Berlin
Food Inspection Service
Netherlands
Address

9700 AL Groningen
Institut des Corps Gras
France
Address
Rue Monge Parc Industriel De Pessac
33600 Pessac
Keuringsdienst van Waren in Amsterdam
Netherlands
Address
401,Hoogte Kadijk
1018 BK Amsterdam
Keuringsdienst van Waren voor het Gebied Amsterdam
Netherlands
Address

1000 GW Amsterdam
MAFF Food Science Laboratory
United Kingdom
Address
Norwich Research Park Colney
NR4 7UQ Norwich
RIKILT
Netherlands
Address

6700 AE Wageningen
Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieuhygiene
Netherlands
Address

3720 BA Bilthoven
Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieuhygiene
Netherlands
Address

3720 BA Bilthoven
TNO-CIVO in Wageningen
Netherlands
Address

6700 AA Wageningen
Unilever Research in Vlaardingen
Netherlands
Address

3130 AC Vlaardingen
Unilever UK Central Resources Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Colworth House
MK44 1LQ Sharnbrook
Union Deutsche Lebensmittelwerke GmbH
Germany
Address

2000 Hamburg
Università degli Studi di Perugia
Italy
Address
Via Del Giochetto
06100 Perugia
Ökometric GmbH
Germany
Address
Berneckerstraße 17-21
95448 Bayreuth