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Improved Determination of Benzo(a)pyrene in Meat Products

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Thermo Fisher Scientific has developed an efficient high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method with fluorescence detection for sensitive and rapid determination of benzo[a]pyrene in meat products. This method uses on-line solid-phase extraction (SPE) for sample preparation instead of the commonly used off-line SPE method.

Application Note 1093: Determination of Benzo(a)pyrene in Sausage and Preserved Ham demonstrates that this approach reduces costs associated with the SPE cartridge, labor, time, and reagents; and results are more consistent because the cleanup step is performed by automated on-line SPE rather than manual off-line SPE.

Benzo[a]pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compound formed from the incomplete combustion of organic matter. Due to its potential carcinogenic and mutagenic properties, most countries have regulations limiting its concentration in drinking water, food additives, cosmetics, workplaces, and factory emissions.

Some samples such as sausage and preserved ham have too complex a matrix that interferes with the separation of benzo[a]pyrene, thus preventing use of a routine HPLC method and making benzo[a]pyrene quantification difficult. Therefore, sample preparation steps-including extraction and extract cleanup-are needed for the determination of benzo[a]pyrene by HPLC.