Integral assessment of food products contamination with priority polyaromatic hydrocarbons

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N.A. Dalhina, E.V. Fedorenko, S.I. Sychik, L.L. Belysheva


Scientific Practical Centre of Hygiene, 8 Akademicheskaya Str., Minsk, 220012, Belarus


Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) occur in the environment as complex mixtures and each congener has different carcinogenic and mutagenic activity.
Our research goal was to accomplish an integral assessment of food products contamination with priority PAH basing on their determination with high precision procedures.
We validated a procedure for determining the said substances and hygienically assessed contamination of certain food products with benzpyrene, as well as with different carcinogenic and mutagenic PAH equivalents taking into account samples with low contamination. Quantitative determination limit for benz(a)anthracene and benzpyrene was fixed at 0.01 μg/kg; benz(b)fluoranthene and chrysene, 0.1 μg/kg. Detection limit for benz(a)anthracene and benzpyrene amounted to 0.003 μg/kg in our research; for benz(b)fluoranthene and chrysene, 0.03 μg/kg. A procedure for integral assessment of contamination with the examined compounds allowed us to calculate benz(a)anthracene, benzpyrene, benz(b)fluoranthene, and chrysene contents in certain food products taking into account mixture of the examined substances, their individual contributions into aggregated contamination, and their different toxic and mutagenic activity. Median food products contamination with benzpyrene amounted to 0.0065–0.42 μg/kg; PAH taking into account carcinogenic equivalents, 0.03–0.55 μg/kg; PAH based on mutagenic equivalents, 0.04–0.81 μg/kg. Maximum concentrations of benzpyrene and PAH based on carcinogenic and mutagenic equivalents are due to a combination of subsequent technological processes that make for occurrence of the examined substances and also due to physical and chemical properties of the examined food products.

risk assessment, integral assessment, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, contamination, food products, congeners, toxic equivalent, mutagenic equivalent.
Dolgina N.A., Fedorenko E.V., Sychik S.I., Belysheva L.L. Integral assessment of food products contamination with priority polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Health Risk Analysis, 2020, no. 3, pp. 78–86. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2020.3.09.eng
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