Original Paper

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 391, Issue 4, pp 1397-1408

First online:

Results of a European inter-laboratory comparison study on the determination of EU priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in edible vegetable oils

  • Rupert SimonAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements Email author 
  • , José Angel Gomez RuizAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
  • , Christoph von HolstAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
  • , Thomas WenzlAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
  • , Elke AnklamAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection

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Abstract

A collaborative study on the analysis for 15 + 1 EU priority PAHs in edible oils was organised to investigate the state-of-the-art of respective analytical methods. Three spiked vegetable oils, one contaminated native sunflower oil, and one standard solution were investigated in this study. The results of 52 laboratories using either high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection or gas chromatography with mass-selective detectors were evaluated by application of robust statistics. About 95% of the laboratories were able to quantify benzo[a]pyrene together with five other PAHs included in the commonly known list of 16 US-EPA PAHs. About 80% of the participants also quantified seven additional PAHs in most samples, two of which were benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[k]fluoranthene, which were also known from the EPA list. Only about 50% of the participants quantified cyclopenta[cd]pyrene, benzo[j]fluoranthene, and benzo[c]fluorene. The robust relative standard deviations of the submitted results without discrimination between the methods applied ranged between 100% for 5-methylchrysene in spiked olive oil and 11% for the same analyte in spiked sunflower oil. The results clearly showed that for these analytes the methods of analysis are not yet well established in European laboratories, and more collaborative trials are needed to promote further development and to improve the performances of the respective methods.

Keywords

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) European priority PAHs Edible vegetable oils Inter-laboratory comparison study