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P. 19-22 /

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in edible oils: 
analysis by molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction with HPLC-FLD


*Corresponding author
1. Jiangnan University, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Wuxi 214122, PR China
2. Food Inspection Authority of Zhangjiagang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Zhangjiagang, 215600, PR China
3. Jiangnan University, School of Food, Wuxi 214122, PR China
4. Synergetic Innovation Centre of Food Safety and Nutrition, Wuxi 214122, PR China
5. Eastocean Oils & Grains Industries (Zhangjiagang) CO., LTD., Zhangjiagang, 215634, PR China


A new method was developed to determine the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in edible fats and oils. Samples are dissolved in petroleum ether, and PAHs are adsorbed onto a molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction (MIPSPE) cartridge and eluted with ethyl acetate. After evaporation of the solvent, PAHs were re-dissolved in acetonitrile and analyzed by RP-HPLC with fluorescence detection. The detection limits of PAHs were 0.04–0.66 μg/kg and the recovery rates ranged from 56.0 percent to 109.1 percent. The total contents of PAHs in edible oils were 18.00–639.96 μg/kg. The developed method was effective due to its high specificity for PAHs.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogenic compounds (1), which result from the incomplete combustion of organic matter. Their presence in foods is mainly attributed to environmental pollution and food processing. The contamination of edible oils with PAHs (2) occurs during seed drying, harvesting, transportation, processing, and packaging (3-6). In this way, PAHs have been detected in several vegetable oils including corn oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, and pumpkin seed oil (6-10).
Several countries have established maximum residue limits of PAHs in edible fats and oil. For example, in South Korea, the maximum residue limit of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is <2 μg/kg (11) in vegetable oil; in the European Union, the maximum residue limit of combined PAHs (e.g., BaP, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, and chrysene) is <10 µg/kg in edible fats and oils (COMMISSION REGULATION No 835/2011) (12); and in China, the maximum residue limit of BaP in edible oils is 10 μg/kg for BaP (13).
The most common methods to determine the presence of PAHs in oil ...

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