Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in smoke-cured fish products
In this study, 108 fish samples of smoke cured fish Sardinella aurita (sardines/herrings) collected from 12 major fishing communities along the coastal belt of Ghana were extracted with Soxhlet apparatus using dichloromethane (DCM), and analyzed for sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using the GC/MS (Varian 3800 GC system with 8400 auto-sampler) to determine levels, distribution and the characterization of their sources. The mean total PAHs in the smoked sardines from the various communities ranged from 510.59 μg/kg to 1461.79 μg/kg for all seasons with a mean value of 716.84 μg/kg. The benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) had a maximum mean level of 73.78 μg/kg. The unit risk of carcinogenic PAHs for benzo[a]pyrene, chrysene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene, benzo[a]anthracene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and indenol[1,2,3-cd]pyrene associated with oral ingestion of smoked sardine was calculated to be 6.1 × 10−7 for adults and 1.6 × 10−7 for children. There is a significant correlation between the fish lipid content and the total PAH levels. The average lipid content of the smoked sardine samples collected varied among the various fishing seasons (3 seasons) in Ghana. A significantly high accumulation of PAHs was found in the smoke-cured fish as compared to the non-smoke-cured fish control samples, which showed PAH levels that were below detection (0.10–2.0 μg/kg). This study highlights the increased danger of consuming smoke-cured fish in Ghana as some of the PAHs are known to be carcinogenic. These results indicate that there is a need to find alternative ways of curing fish other than the traditional smoking process.
Read full paper https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2012.04.007