Tuesday 14 July 2015

Profiling, distribution and levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in traditional smoked plant and animal foods

Food Control, 59 (2016) 581–590

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH8 plus fluoranthene and pyrene) in “Pan de Cea” bread, “Pimentón de La Vera” paprika, “San Simón da Costa”, “Idiazábal” and “Humus” cheeses, and “Chorizo” garlic pork sausage. Results obtained showed that harmless low molecular weight compounds (Fluoranthene and Pyrene) represented the major contribution to the total PAHs. The most important PAHs according to the levels found were those in the 4 PAHs group (the rest of PAHs to add a total of 8 were contributing at very low levels). PAH4 and PAH8 levels showed percentages ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 % in bread, 16–17 % in paprika, 23–28 % in cheese and 20–24 % in meat sausages, respectively. B(a)P did not exceed the imposed limits in the EU. Bread showed the lower PAH concentration (3.4 μg/kg) followed by cheese (88 μg/kg), smoked sausage (1779 μg/kg) and paprika (9937 μg/kg). “Pimentón de la Vera” paprika is a condiment consumed in small quantities. The PAH profile had in common the decrease in PAH content as their molecular weight increased. These results showed that the contamination detected in “Pan de Cea” bread samples was very low, so that the consumption of this product does not pose a health risk. In cheese samples, the PAH contamination was detected meanly in rind, that accounted around the 100% of the total contamination. In meat sausages samples, the 90% of the total PAHs determined were accumulated in the casing. Considering the edible part, the PAH4 and B(a)P mean contents were below the limit established. Although, the highest PAH levels were detected in “Pimentón de la Vera” paprika, it should be pointed out that this product is a condiment consumed in small quantities and not in an everyday basis, it does not represent a risk for consumers. In cheese and meat sausage, according our estimates, the removal of the external part can be considered a good consumer practices to reduce the ingestion of PAHs.