Developement of analytical methods for the determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from foodstuff
Following numerous melamine and aflatoxin scandals food safety is getting more and more attention. Both the European Union and Hungary strictly regulate the limit of incidental harmful substances in food and foodstuff. One group of these substances are the carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are produced from incomplete burning, heating and smoking. They can be found in water, soil and also in the air and considering they are lipofilic these substances easily accumulate in the food chain and thus contaminate fish, game and domesticated animals alike which we consume....
The limit of PAHs is regulated by the 835/2011/EU regulation in Hungary. The limit imposed by the regulation varies among foodstuff (smoked meat, mussel, oils, infant formula) and compounds, ranging between 1-35 ng/g. The measurement of concentrations at or below the regulation limits is complicated by the variety and complexity of foodstuffs.
The aim of my work is to analyze foodstuff (breast milk substitutes and supplementaries, wheat based and dietary infant formulas) which have the lowest limit for PAHs – 1 µg/kg. Measuring such low concentration is extremely problematic that is why it necessitates the use of GC-MS/MS. The high selectivity of the GC-MS/MS helps with the interference free detection of PAHs even with moderately efficient sample preparation. To take advantage of this my aim is to use Large Volume Injection (LVI) by which quantification limits can be lowered and thanks to the increased selectivity the drawback of LVI – concentration of interfering compounds – can be eliminated. In light of the results I also aim to expand the analytical method with relevant types of food.
Author: Zoltán Nyiri, PhD student