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Current Insights into Monitoring, Bioaccumulation, and Potential Health Effects of Microplastics Present in the Food Chain

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Wageningen Food Safety Research, Part of Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 230, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010072
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 27 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Food Quality and Safety)
Microplastics (MPs) are considered an emerging issue as environmental pollutants and a potential health threat. This review will focus on recently published data on concentrations in food, possible effects, and monitoring methods. Some data are available on concentrations in seafood (fish, bivalves, and shrimps), water, sugar, salt, and honey, but are lacking for other foods. Bottled water is a considerable source with numbers varying between 2600 and 6300 MPs per liter. Particle size distributions have revealed an abundance of particles smaller than 25 µm, which are considered to have the highest probability to pass the intestinal border and to enter the systemic circulation of mammals. Some studies with mice and zebrafish with short- or medium-term exposure (up to 42 days) have revealed diverse results with respect to both the type and extent of effects. Most notable modifications have been observed in gut microbiota, lipid metabolism, and oxidative stress. The principal elements of MP monitoring in food are sample preparation, detection, and identification. Identified data gaps include a lack of occurrence data in plant- and animal-derived food, a need for more data on possible effects of different types of microplastics, a lack of in silico models, a lack of harmonized monitoring methods, and a further development of quality assurance. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastic; occurrence; human health; analytical methods; quality control microplastic; occurrence; human health; analytical methods; quality control
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van Raamsdonk, L.W.D.; van der Zande, M.; Koelmans, A.A.; Hoogenboom, R.L.A.P.; Peters, R.J.B.; Groot, M.J.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Weesepoel, Y.J.A. Current Insights into Monitoring, Bioaccumulation, and Potential Health Effects of Microplastics Present in the Food Chain. Foods 2020, 9, 72.

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