Comparative analysis of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) content and proximate composition of unripe Musa paradisiaca (plantain) fruit exposed to varying methods of roasting

  • F. N. NworahEmail author
  • C. C. Nkwocha
  • J. N. Nwachukwu
  • E. C. Ezeako
Research Article


This comparative study was carried out to ascertain the relative effect of smoking and non-smoking methods of food preparation on the concentration of PAHs in unripe plantain sample. The fruit samples were subjected to different smoking methods such as roasting with firewood, charcoal and charcoal augmented with polythene materials as well as non-smoking method such as frying and oven drying process, and compared with the fresh fruits. Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) method was used to determine the concentrations of sixteen priority PAHs content of each sample and the results were subjected to statistical analysis. The percentage compositions of crude fibre in the raw, smoked roasted (charcoal, firewood and augmented charcoal) and non-smoked (oven dried and fried) samples were; 4.4% 3.2%, 3.1%, 3.0%, 3.5% and 4.1% respectively. Percentage composition of protein and carbohydrate of the raw food samples were found to be 3.62% and 34.5% respectively which were higher than the dried food samples. The total PAHs concentration of the fresh plantain sample (control) was (8.0 ± 0.1 mg/L). The Charcoal, firewood and augmented roasted sample had total PAHs concentration of (19.3 ± 0.2 mg/L), (19.6 ± 0.1 mg/L) and (20.1 ± 0.1 mg/L) respectively, whereas the total PAHs concentration in the fried and oven dried samples were (9.8 ± 0.1 mg/L) and (15.3 ± 0.2 mg/L) respectively. From the result, it was observed that the total PAHs concentration of the smoke roasted sample were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the non-smoke roasted sample which indicates that roasting and grilling over open fire or smoke do increase the level of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in food. Although the concentration of PAHs in the fried sample was significantly (p < 0.05) lower than the oven dried sample, however, it predisposes one to increased risk of atherosclerosis and related lipidemia due to its increased fat concentration. Hence smoking method of food preparation should be substituted with other non-smoking methods such as oven drying.


Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Musa paradisiaca GC-MS Charcoal Smoking 



The authors would like to thank the staff and the participants of the various institutions visited for their contributions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Safety and Toxicity Unit, Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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