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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Dec 31;51(27):8120-7.

Volatile organic compounds in foods: a five year study.

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United States Food and Drug Administration, 11510 West 80th Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66214-3338, USA.


A purge and trap procedure was used with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry determination to analyze 70 foods for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The results from analyses over a 5 year period (1996-2000) are reported. VOCs were found in at least one sample of all foods tested, although no single compound was found in each of the foods. The total amount of VOCs found in a single food item over the 5 year period ranged from 24 to 5328 ppb, with creamed corn (canned) the lowest and cheddar cheese the highest. Benzene was found in all foods except American cheese and vanilla ice cream. Benzene levels ranged from 1 to 190 ppb, with the highest level found in fully cooked ground beef. Benzene was found in 12 samples of cooked ground beef, with an average of 40 ppb. Benzene levels above 100 ppb were also seen in at least one sample each of a cola (138 ppb), raw bananas (132 ppb), and cole slaw (102 ppb). This compares to a maximum contaminant level of 5 ppb set by the U.S. EPA for drinking water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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