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Concentrations and health hazards of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in selected commercial brands of milk


The concentrations and profiles of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in twenty popular commercial brands of milk in the Nigerian market after saponification with ethanolic KOH and cyclohexane extraction and clean up using a gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. The concentrations of the Σ16 PAHs in these brands of milk ranged from 15.6 to 1,711.8 μg kg−1. The dominant PAH compounds in these brands of milk were 3-and-4-rings PAHs. The dietary intake of BaP, PAH2, PAH4 and PAH8 were 0–53.9 and 0–369.6 ng kg−1 bw day−1 respectively. Using these indicators for occurrence and effects (BaP, PAH2, PAH4 and PAH8) PAHs in food, the margin of exposure were <10,000 in 15–30 % of the brands.

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The authors are grateful to Miss Helen Sunday for her assistance during sampling and analysis.

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Correspondence to Chukwujindu M. A. Iwegbue.

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Iwegbue, C.M.A., Bassey, F.I. Concentrations and health hazards of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in selected commercial brands of milk. Food Measure 7, 177–184 (2013).

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  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Dietary intakes
  • Margin of exposure
  • Milk
  • Nigeria