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Exposure assessment and risk characterization associated to consumption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and aromatic heterocyclic amines from meat products commercialized in Ribeirão Preto, SP

Grant number: 16/09794-8
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2017 - February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Vincenzi Jager
Grantee:Alessandra Vincenzi Jager
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Paula Cristina da Cruz Oliveira Soromenho de Alvito ; Ricardo Manuel Abreu de Assunção


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of organic compounds characterized by a structure of carbon and hydrogen atoms forming two or more fused rings without the presence of hetero atom or substituent. Among the PAHs, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is one of the most investigated and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies BaP as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Dibenzo [a,h] anthracene is classified as a probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). Nnaphthalene, benzo[a]anthracene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, indeno (1,2,3-c,d) pyrene are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), while acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene and benzo[g, h,i]perylene belong to Group 3, not classified as carcinogenic compounds to humans. Acenaphthalene is not mentioned in the IARC monograph. PAHs are environmental contaminants and are present in the air and can also be found in food products as a result of certain industrial processes such as smoking, heating or cooking (broiling and baking) and drying, which allow direct contact between the food and combustion products. European legislation sets limits for the concentration of four PAHs, benzo[a]anthracene (BaA), chrysene (Chr), benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbF) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) in selected foods. Brazilian law provides only maximum limits for benzo[a]pyrene in drinking water and liquid smoke. Aromatic heterocyclic amines (AHAs) are present in cooked meats and are formed via Maillard reaction having as precursors creatine, creatinine, amino acids and sugars. The most common are 2-amino-3-methyl-imidazo [4,5-f] quinoline (IQ), 2-amino-3-methyl-imidazo [4,5-f] quinoxilanine (IQx), 2-amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoline (MeIQ), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoxilanine (MeIQx), 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo [4,5- f] quinoxaline (4,8-DiMeIQx) and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). IARC classifies IQ as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), the MeIQ, MeIQx and PhIP as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B) while IQx and 4,8-DiMeIQx are not classified by IARC. There are no maximum limits established for AHAs in food in Europe, United States or Brazil. Studies in Brazil dedicated to the determination of PAHs and AHAs concentrations in food consumed by the population are rare, and this project aims to evaluate the incidence of PAH4 (BaA, Chr, BbF and BaP) and AHAs (IQ , IQx, MeIQ, MeIQx, DiMeIQx and PhIP) in ready to eat meat products, specifically beef and chicken products, in order to determine the population exposure levels to these compounds, and also characterize the risk associated with this exposure. To achieve the objectives of this project, analytical methods for the quantification of PAHs and AHAs in products from beef and chicken meat will be evaluated and in-house validated. The analytical methodology for the determination of PAHs will be based on liquid chromatography with fluorimetric detection. The liquid chromatography with UV detector (UV-Vis) or coupled to mass spectrometry, and capillary electrophoresis with UV detector (UV-Vis) will be evaluated for the determination of AHAs. A quantitative food frequency questionnaire (QFFQ) will be elaborated to estimate the amount of beef and chicken consumed by volunteers residents in the city of Ribeirão Preto/SP. These data together with concentration of PAHs and AHAs found in food products will be used in the calculation of the exposure assessment and risk characterization. (AU)

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