Concentration profile of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) fractions in some processed meat and meat products


This study investigates the concentration profiles of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) fractions in selected processed meats, in order to evaluate their dietary and health implications. Smoked, grilled and boiled meat products were bought from different locations in Cape Town and Cape Town environs. PAHs were extracted from each meat sample according to standard methods. The concentrations of benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkP), benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), indeno[1, 2, 3-cd]pyrene (IP), and benzo[g, h, i]perylene(BghiP) in the processed meat extracts were determined using a gas chromatograph coupled with flame ionization detector. Total PAH concentrations in smoked, grilled and boiled chicken fillets, pork, and beef stripes were ranged 2.79, 0.99, 2.33 μg/kg; 19.11, 11.17, 15.04 μg/kg; and 14.84, 9.29, 7.20 μg/kg respectively. There were significant differences (p > 0.05) in the concentration levels of PAHs detected in different types, with the highest levels observed in smoked pork meat. The concentration of BkP, BaP, IP and BghiP detected in the various meat samples were below the EU and WHO dietary exposure limit.

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Appreciation goes to Prof Van de Watt for providing a large proportion of the funding for this project. We also wish to thank immensely thank Ms Zandile Mthembu, Ms Jilian Fennesy-Yong and Ms Khanyisa Nohako for their support and assistant during the study.

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Correspondence to Olatunde S. Olatunji.

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Olatunji, O.S., Opeolu, B.O., Fatoki, O.S. et al. Concentration profile of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) fractions in some processed meat and meat products. Food Measure 7, 122–128 (2013).

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  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Processed meat and meat products
  • Concentration profile
  • Separation
  • Dietary exposure limit