MAE of PAHs from Dietary Matrices

The contamination of food by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are highly carcinogenic and mutagenic, is a continuous issue for control authorities. In order to establish efficient procedures an extraction method for PAHs from 3 sensitive matrices utilizing a microwave device is validated in respect of European regulations.


Being already frequently used for extraction of contaminants in non-food matrices, microwave-assisted solvent extraction seems to be a promising method for food samples as well. This analytic solution excels by low investment costs, low consumption of consumables and user-friendly operation. Furthermore, this sample preparation technique is well adapted for PAHs since those compounds are not affected by high temperatures.

PAHs originate from fossil fuels and tar deposits but are also produced by incomplete combustion of organic matter and can therefore be easily found in barbecued food. Nowadays human activities consuming fuels and coal are the major source of PAHs in the atmosphere.

As key lead structure and well-researched compound in the determination of PAHs benzo[a]pyrene has been established in various norms.

The presented validation protocol focused on the PAHs regulated by the EC 1881/20061: benzo[a]pyrene, chrysene, benz[a]anthracene, and benzo[b]fluoranthene, as well as the sum of these four PAHs.

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