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PAHs in Food
Occurrence of PAHs in foods
Raw foods should usually not contain high levels of PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). In areas remote from urban or industrial activities, the levels of PAH found in unprocessed foods reflect the background contamination, which originates from long distance airborne transportation of contaminated particles and natural emissions from volcanoes and forest fires. In the neighborhood of industrial areas or along highways, the contamination of vegetation can be higher than in rural areas.
Processing of food (such as drying and smoking) and cooking of foods at high temperatures (grilling, roasting, frying) are major sources generating PAH. High levels have been found for individual PAH in smoked fish and meat. Contamination of vegetable oils (including olive residue oils) with PAH usually occurs during technological processes like direct fire drying, where combustion products may come into contact with the oil seeds or oil.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 1987 classified the PAHs as follows:
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is to be of the opinion that edible oil with more than 1 µg/kg of Benzo(a)pyren or more than 5 µg/kg of heavy PAH is not marketable.
The European commission sets the limits of Benzo(a)pyrene with the actual regulation 208/2005/EC as described below. This regulation becomes in force until April 2005.
The foodstuffs must not placed on the market, contain higher contaminant levels specified in that regulation.
Regulation 208/2005 limits for Benzo(a)pyrene
GALAB Laboratories offer an analytical service for your Quality Management. GALAB developed a methodology to detect PAHs in food. We are able to detect levels of PAHs in food down to 0,5 µg/kg.
The requirements of the European Directive 2005/10/EC are fulfilled.
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