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J Food Prot. 2008 May;71(5):993-9.

Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked pork by effect-directed bioassay with confirmation by chemical analysis.

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  • 1Institute for Food Quality and Food Safety, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are generated during smoke curing and other heating treatments of food and represent a large class of chemical pollutants including a number of carcinogens. At present, PAHs are frequently detected by costly and time-consuming chemical analysis. Effect-directed in vitro cell-based bioassays of contaminants can offer a rapid, sensitive, and relatively inexpensive alternative for screening of contaminants in comparison to instrumental analysis. They enable estimation of total biological activity of all compounds acting through the same mode of binding. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor as a binding site plays an important role in PAH-induced carcinogenesis. The in vitro chemical-activated luciferase expression assay (using conditions to detect PAH) was investigated for its applicability for effect-directed analysis of PAH levels in smoked meat. There was an intra-assay variability of 0 to 15% and a mean coefficient of variation of 25% (3 to 50%) for the cleanup and bioassay analysis of the smoked pork samples. There was a correlation between the total responses of the bioassay and the individual amounts of the PAHs with a high molecular weight. The comparison of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and benzo[k]fluoranthene used as standard in the in vitro chemical-activated luciferase expression assay resulted in benzo[k]fluoranthene being able to be used as an alternative, nontoxic standard in the bioassay. This bioassay is an applicable effect-directed functional prescreening method for the analysis of PAHs in smoked meat and appears to have potential in being used for food control in the future.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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