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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons In Smoked Fish: A Critical Review

A. Stołyhwo, Z. Sikorski
Published 2005 · Chemistry

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Abstract Among hundreds of components, wood smoke also contains at least 100 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and their alkylated derivatives. Many of them are carcinogenic. Benzo[α]pyrene (BaP) is regarded as a marker of the carcinogenic PAH in smoke and smoked fish, although in olive residual oil the maximum level of 2 μg/kg for each of the eight most carcinogenic PAHs, including BaP, has been set. Contemporary analytical procedures based on extraction of the hydrocarbons from the matrix, clean-up procedure, separation by gas chromatography (GC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), followed by detection and quantification by mass spectrometry (MS) or fluorescence detectors (FLD), respectively, make it possible to determine individual PAH in smoked foods at concentrations of the order of 0.1 μg/kg or even 0.01 μg/kg. Heavily smoked fish from traditional kilns, especially their outer parts, may contain up to about 50 μg BaP/kg wet weight, while the meat of mild hot-smoked fish, from smokehouses supplied with conditioned wood smoke from external generators, contains only about 0.1 μg/kg, or even less. Some older data on the contents of BaP in smoked fish should be treated with caution, if the analytical procedures used did not guarantee unequivocal separation and identification of the individual PAH.
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