Methods for Detection of Mutagens in Food
The task of isolating and identifying food mutagens is, in general, laborious and timeconsuming. The fact that a heterocyclic amine is present in food in a very small amount and yet is highly mutagenic in Salmonella gives rise to a situation in which the mutagenicity is easily detectable but characterization of the mutagen is difficult. The mutagenic heterocyclic amines are similar to alkaloids, which are also nitrogenous basic compounds. The usefulness of immunoaffinity chromatography for the detection of food-borne mutagens was shown earlier in the studies of aflatoxin metabolites in human. A powerful method for detecting heterocyclic amines in crude extracts of cooked food is an assay based on combined liquid chromatography-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The method have a great potential to minimize the laborious procedure that has been required for the detection of mutagens in food. Various mutagens dissolved in saline can be adsorbed to blue cotton and can be recovered from the cotton by elution with an organic solvent.