Determination of Pollutants in Foods
Polyaromatic compounds (PACs) originate from both man-made and natural sources. The high toxicity of some compounds, combined with their persistence, bioaccumulation, environmental mobility, and diverse sources, has provoked intensive research efforts for decades, which show little sign of slowing down. The polyhalogenated contaminants of greatest interest in foods are grouped into several classes based on their carbon skeleton. A common feature of all the classes is the large number of potential isomers producing a large number of isomers with similar physical and chemical properties, while conversely possessing widely varying potencies toward biological systems.1 Although these chemicals exhibit very similar chemical characteristics, the individual isomers must be identi‘ed to determine their potential importance to a biological system. Table 15.1 lists some classes of polyhalogenated or polyaromatic contaminants, which have been studied as a result of food contamination incidences or occupational exposures. Table 15.1 omits several polyaromatic pollutant classes including metabolites, sulfur analogs for oxygenated compounds, alkylated polyaromatics, mixed halogenated compounds, and heterocyclic compounds.