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Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method for the determination of 16 European priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked meat products and edible oils.

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  • 1Institute for Chemistry and Physics, Federal Research Centre for Nutrition and Food, Kulmbach, Germany.


A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method was developed for the analysis of 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) highlighted as carcinogenic by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) plus benzo[c]fluorine (recommended to be analysed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in fat-containing foods such as edible oils and smoked meat products. This method includes accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and the highly automated clean-up steps gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and solid-phase extraction (SPE). Using a VF-17ms GC column, a good separation of benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[j]fluoranthene and benzo[k]fluoranthene was achieved. Futhermore, the six methylchrysene isomers and the PAH compounds with a molecular weight of 302 Daltons in fat-containing foods attained a better chromatographic separation in comparison with a 5-ms column. The reliability of the analytical method for edible oils was demonstrated by the results from a proficiency test. Measurements with GC-high-resolution mass spectroscopy (HRMS) and gas chromatography-mass selective detection (GC-MSD) led to comparable results. A survey of the 16 PAHs in 22 smoked meat products showed concentrations in the range < 0.01-19 microg kg(-1). The median concentration for benzo[a]pyrene was below 0.15 microg kg(-1).

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