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An Approach To The Consumption Of Smoked Paprika In Spain And Its Impact On The Intake Of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

José M. Coleto, Alberto Martín, Andrés Horrillo, Francisco J. Mesías, Rocío Velázquez

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“Pimentón de La Vera” smoked paprika is a traditional kind of smoked paprika, the production of which is regulated by a protected designation of origin. The traditional drying/smoking process provides the “Pimentón de La Vera” smoked paprika with a peculiar flavour which has gained acceptance in multiple markets. However, this process also gives rise to non-desirable substances, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This paper attempts to ascertain the consumption levels of smoked paprika per person in Spain in order to establish the intake of PAHs derived from this food spice. With this purpose in mind, a research study was carried out using questionnaires in three different smoked paprika consumption scenarios: food companies, households and restaurants. The results from this research proved that the average consumption of smoked paprika per person per year in Spain is 139 g. Overall, the intake of PAHs derived from smoked paprika was proven to represent a negligible fraction of the total intake, with this ingredient being far behind the PAH contribution represented by other food products. These results could help consolidate the smoked paprika production sector by providing evidence of the scarce contribution of smoked paprika to PAH intake and justifying the traditional production with smoke drying, which is the differentiating quality trait of this spice.