Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 6036

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310008, China
Interests: analytical technology for pesticide and environmental contaminants; contaminated resources and pathway of toxic compounds in tea; risk assessment of contaminants in tea

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Guest Editor
Institute of Quality Standards and Testing Technology for Agro-Products, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: risk monitoring; risk assessment; toxic effects; quality analysis; lipidomics; chemical contaminants including pesticides, veterinary drugs and environmental pollutants etc.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Agro-Environmental Protection Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Tianjin, China
Interests: pollutant analysis and environmental toxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Contaminants in food and beverages are the main source of human exposure to toxic and harmful substances. Contaminants need to be promptly and effectively detected to prevent toxic food from entering the market. Conducting toxicological analysis and risk assessment, scientifically assessing the health risks of pollutants in food to human health, and then establishing maximum residue limits is necessary to ensure food safety and agricultural supply safety. In this Special Issue, the recent efforts and advances for comprehensive detection, toxicity, and risk assessment of contaminants in food will be addressed. Topics of interest for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Innovative analytical methods for the determination of contaminants in food;
  • The detection of new contaminants in food;
  • The migration and transformation of contaminants in food;
  • Contamination levels in food;
  • Toxicology of contaminants in food;
  • Risk assessment of toxic compounds in food;
  • Risk assessment model for food pollutants;
  • Regulations for food safety.

Prof. Hongping Chen
Prof. Dr. Jing Qiu
Prof. Dr. Zeying He
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • foods
  • pesticides
  • environmental contaminants
  • migration and transformation
  • contaminated levels in food
  • risk assessment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 712 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Risk Assessment of Pesticides, Phthalates, and Heavy Metal Residues in Vegetables from Hydroponic and Conventional Cultivation
by Shanshan Chen, Chunxia Yao, Jiaxin Zhou, Haiyao Ma, Jing Jin, Weiguo Song and Zhenpeng Kai
Foods 2024, 13(8), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13081151 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Hydroponic cultivation of fresh produce is gaining popularity worldwide, but few studies have provided a comparative assessment of hydroponic and conventional soil-based vegetables. In this study, we analyzed a series of hazardous chemicals, including 120 pesticides, 18 phthalates (PAEs), and 2 heavy metals [...] Read more.
Hydroponic cultivation of fresh produce is gaining popularity worldwide, but few studies have provided a comparative assessment of hydroponic and conventional soil-based vegetables. In this study, we analyzed a series of hazardous chemicals, including 120 pesticides, 18 phthalates (PAEs), and 2 heavy metals (lead and cadmium) in four vegetable commodities (lettuces, celeries, tomatoes, and cucumbers) from hydroponic and conventional soil-based cultivation. Our study showed that at least one pesticide was present in 84% of the conventionally grown samples, whereas only 30% of the hydroponic samples contained detectable pesticide residues. Regarding the total PAE concentrations, there was no significant difference between conventional and hydroponic vegetables. The lead and cadmium residues in conventionally cultivated vegetables were significantly higher than in those produced from hydroponic cultivation. Lead is the primary heavy metal pollutant across all vegetable samples. The hazard index (HI) values of the hydroponic and conventional vegetables were 0.22 and 0.64, respectively. Since both values are below one, the exposure to these hazardous chemicals through consumption of the studied vegetables may not pose a significant health risk. The HI values also suggested that the health risks of eating hydroponic vegetables are lower than for conventional soil-based vegetables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment)
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16 pages, 1246 KiB  
Article
Residue Degradation and Risk Assessment of Difenoconazole and Its Metabolite during Tea Growing, Processing and Brewing by Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry Determination
by Min Wang, Yating Ning, Yue Hu, Xinyi Cui, Fengjian Luo, Li Zhou, Miao Yu and Xinzhong Zhang
Foods 2024, 13(7), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13071123 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Residue dissipation and risk assessment of difenoconazole and its metabolite difenoconazole-alcohol during tea growing, processing, and brewing was first investigated by ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS). The limits of quantification for both difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol were 0.001 mg/kg in fresh tea leaves [...] Read more.
Residue dissipation and risk assessment of difenoconazole and its metabolite difenoconazole-alcohol during tea growing, processing, and brewing was first investigated by ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS). The limits of quantification for both difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol were 0.001 mg/kg in fresh tea leaves and tea, and 0.0002 mg/L in tea infusion. In field trials, the dissipation half-lives of difenoconazole in fresh tea leaves was 1.77 days. After spraying, the residues of difenoconazole-alcohol increased and then gradually dissipated like difenoconazole. After 14 days, the dissipation rates of difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol reached 99%. When fresh tea leaves were harvested on different days, the total processing factors (PFs) of difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol for green tea were 0.86–1.05 and 0.78–0.85, respectively, while the total PFs for black tea were 0.83–1.13 and 0.82–1.66, respectively. Metabolism of difenoconazole was accelerated during tea processing. When brewing black tea, the leaching rates (LRs) of difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol were 8.4–17.9% and 31.8–38.9%, respectively, while when brewing green tea, the LRs were 15.4–23.5% and 30.4–50.6%, respectively. The LRs of difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol in black tea were higher than those in green tea. The potential threat to human health for dietary intake of difenoconazole and difenoconazole-alcohol residues from tea consumption is negligible. However, the dietary risk of difenoconazole in fruits and vegetables that are essential for daily diets is concerning, with a risk probability of 158%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment)
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17 pages, 1732 KiB  
Article
Contamination Status and Acute Dietary Exposure Assessment of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Shellfish in the Dalian Area of the Yellow-Bohai Sea, China
by Pei Cao, Lei Zhang, Yaling Huang, Shuwen Li, Xiaodan Wang, Feng Pan, Xiaojin Yu, Jinfang Sun, Jiang Liang, Pingping Zhou and Xiaomin Xu
Foods 2024, 13(3), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030361 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 799
Abstract
The Yellow-Bohai Sea is an important semi-enclosed continental shelf marginal seas with an intensive aquaculture industry in China. The current study analyzed the contamination status and the time variations of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in shellfish between 2019 and 2020 from the Yellow-Bohai [...] Read more.
The Yellow-Bohai Sea is an important semi-enclosed continental shelf marginal seas with an intensive aquaculture industry in China. The current study analyzed the contamination status and the time variations of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in shellfish between 2019 and 2020 from the Yellow-Bohai Sea in the Dalian area and estimated the acute health risks to consumers in China. A total of 199 shellfish samples (including 34 Pacific oysters, 25 Mediterranean blue mussels, 34 Manila clams, 36 bay scallops, 34 veined rapa whelks and 36 bloody clams) were analyzed from four representative aquaculture zones around the Yellow-Bohai Sea in Dalian. Among the samples, scallops and blood clams were the shellfish species with the highest detection rate of PSTs (94.4%), and the highest level of PSTs was detected in scallops with 3953.5 μg STX.2HCl eq./kg (μg STX.2HCL equivalents per kg shellfish tissue), followed by blood clams with 993.4 μg STX.2HCl eq./kg. The contents of PSTs in shellfish showed a time variation trend, and autumn was the season of concern for PST contamination in Dalian. For general Chinese consumers, the probability of acute health risks to shellfish consumers from dietary exposure to PSTs was around 13%. For typical consumers in coastal areas of China, especially those with higher shellfish intake, there was an acute health risk associated with exposure to PSTs through shellfish consumption during the occurrence of harmful algal blooms. It is suggested that the government continue to strengthen the monitoring of the source of PSTs and the monitoring of harmful algal blooms and give reasonable advice on shellfish consumption for consumers in coastal areas, such as not eating scallop viscera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment)
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14 pages, 3351 KiB  
Article
AFB1 Triggers Lipid Metabolism Disorders through the PI3K/Akt Pathway and Mediates Apoptosis Leading to Hepatotoxicity
by Tiancai Wang, Xiabing Li, Guangqin Liao, Zishuang Wang, Xiaoxu Han, Jingyi Gu, Xiyan Mu, Jing Qiu and Yongzhong Qian
Foods 2024, 13(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010163 - 3 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
As the most prevalent mycotoxin in agricultural products, aflatoxin B1 not only causes significant economic losses but also poses a substantial threat to human and animal health. AFB1 has been shown to increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but the underlying mechanism [...] Read more.
As the most prevalent mycotoxin in agricultural products, aflatoxin B1 not only causes significant economic losses but also poses a substantial threat to human and animal health. AFB1 has been shown to increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but the underlying mechanism is not thoroughly researched. Here, we explored the toxicity mechanism of AFB1 on human hepatocytes following low-dose exposure based on transcriptomics and lipidomics. Apoptosis-related pathways were significantly upregulated after AFB1 exposure in all three hES-Hep, HepaRG, and HepG2 hepatogenic cell lines. By conducting a comparative analysis with the TCGA-LIHC database, four biomarkers (MTCH1, PPM1D, TP53I3, and UBC) shared by AFB1 and HCC were identified (hazard ratio > 1), which can be used to monitor the degree of AFB1-induced hepatotoxicity. Simultaneously, AFB1 induced abnormal metabolism of glycerolipids, sphingolipids, and glycerophospholipids in HepG2 cells (FDR < 0.05, impact > 0.1). Furthermore, combined analysis revealed strong regulatory effects between PIK3R1 and sphingolipids (correlation coefficient > 0.9), suggesting potential mediation by the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) /protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway within mitochondria. This study revealed the dysregulation of lipid metabolism induced by AFB1 and found novel target genes associated with AFB-induced HCC development, providing reliable evidence for elucidating the hepatotoxicity of AFB as well as assessing food safety risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment)
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17 pages, 4572 KiB  
Article
Use of Transcriptomics to Reveal the Joint Immunotoxicity Mechanism Initiated by Difenoconazole and Chlorothalonil in the Human Jurkat T-Cell Line
by Yun-Cheng Li, Shu-Yan Liu, Hou-Ru Li, Fan-Bing Meng, Jing Qiu, Yong-Zhong Qian and Yan-Yang Xu
Foods 2024, 13(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010034 (registering DOI) - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 669
Abstract
It is very important to evaluate the immunotoxicity and molecular mechanisms of pesticides. In this study, difenoconazole and chlorothalonil were evaluated for immunotoxicity by using the human Jurkat T-cell line, and the EC50 were 24.66 and 1.17 mg/L, respectively. The joint exposure [...] Read more.
It is very important to evaluate the immunotoxicity and molecular mechanisms of pesticides. In this study, difenoconazole and chlorothalonil were evaluated for immunotoxicity by using the human Jurkat T-cell line, and the EC50 were 24.66 and 1.17 mg/L, respectively. The joint exposure of difenoconazole and chlorothalonil showed a synergistic effect at low concentrations (lower than 10.58 mg/L) but an antagonistic effect at high concentrations (higher than 10.58 mg/L). With joint exposure at a concentration of EC10, the proportion of late apoptotic cells was 2.26- and 2.91-fold higher than that with exposure to difenoconazole or chlorothalonil alone, respectively. A transcriptomics analysis indicated that the DEGs for single exposure are associated with immunodeficiency disease. Single exposure to chlorothalonil was mainly involved in cation transportation, extracellular matrix organization, and leukocyte cell adhesion. Single exposure to difenoconazole was mainly involved in nervous system development, muscle contraction, and immune system processes. However, when the joint exposure dose was EC10, the DEGs were mainly involved in the formation of cell structures, but the DEGs were mainly involved in cellular processes and metabolism when the joint exposure dose was EC25. The results indicated that the immunotoxicological mechanisms underlying joint exposure to difenoconazole and chlorothalonil are different under low and high doses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment)
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Review

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20 pages, 707 KiB  
Review
Levels, Toxic Effects, and Risk Assessment of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Foods: A Review
by Yu-Shun Lu, Jing Qiu, Xi-Yan Mu, Yong-Zhong Qian and Lu Chen
Foods 2024, 13(4), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13040536 - 9 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1222
Abstract
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are naturally occurring secondary metabolites of plants. To date, more than 660 types of PAs have been identified from an estimated 6000 plants, and approximately 120 of these PAs are hepatotoxic. As a result of PAs being found in spices, [...] Read more.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are naturally occurring secondary metabolites of plants. To date, more than 660 types of PAs have been identified from an estimated 6000 plants, and approximately 120 of these PAs are hepatotoxic. As a result of PAs being found in spices, herbal teas, honey, and milk, PAs are considered contaminants in foods, posing a potential risk to human health. Here, we summarize the chemical structure, toxic effects, levels, and regulation of PAs in different countries to provide a better understanding of their toxicity and risk assessment. With recent research on the risk assessment of PAs, this review also discusses the challenges facing this field, aiming to provide a scientific basis for PA toxicity research and safety assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants: Detection, Toxicity and Safety Risk Assessment)
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