Special Issue "Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Claudio Medana

Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences Department, University of Torino, 10125 Torino, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: liquid chromatography mass spectrometry for bioactive molecules analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The presence of contaminants in foods is a topic of concern both in science and popular culture. A growing attention is devoted to main and side effects of foodstuffs from the nutritional and dietary point of view, but furthermore toxicology and epidemiology research show new cases of correlation between food contaminants and development of pathologies. The undesirable contaminant compounds may have a different origin: They may be degradation products of food components (natural or anthropogenic), environmental pollutants or substances deriving from technological processes. Many of the components of the food that seem indifferent at first glance can reveal to be harmful by deeper investigation.

The recognized classes of undesirable food contaminants based on their origin can be summarized as: i) endogenous toxins, which are natural food components, ii) microbial toxins produced by molds or bacteria, iii) toxic residues carried over into food from procedures applied to living animals and plants, and iv) toxic contaminants originating from technological operations such as packaging, food processing, preservation and cooking.

The availability of analytical techniques of increasing selectivity and sensitivity has boosted the ability to detect traces of food contaminants in a more and more accurate and reproducible way. The development of molecular screening techniques such as -omics continuously raises the list of molecules with toxicological properties. Knowledge about acute toxicity, chronic toxicity (e.g. carcinogenicity, endocrine-disrupting effects, etc.) or subjective toxicity (as in the case of allergens) is crucial both for overall human health and in the development of personalized medicine.

The broad extension of this issue should be focused on the development and application of analytical technologies for the targeted and non-targeted detection of food contaminants. Particular attention should be paid to the correlation of their levels in food with toxicological risk and with the onset of diseases. Food chemical safety control methods have to involve both small molecules and macromolecules analytical determination; matrix effects should be studied in detail.

Prof. Claudio Medana
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 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

  • food undesirables
  • analytical methods
  • food pollutants
  • contaminant quantitation
  • endogenous toxins analysis
  • toxic residues
  • food-borne toxins
  • matrix effect
  • food contaminant risk assessment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Pressurized Solvent Extraction with Ethyl Acetate and Liquid Chromatography—Tandem Mass Spectrometry for the Analysis of Selected Conazole Fungicides in Matcha
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
The extraction of powdered nutraceuticals is challenging due to the low water content and high concentration of matrix components that can lead to significant matrix effects in liquid chromatography-positive ion electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI+-MS/MS). In this study we assess the
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The extraction of powdered nutraceuticals is challenging due to the low water content and high concentration of matrix components that can lead to significant matrix effects in liquid chromatography-positive ion electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI+-MS/MS). In this study we assess the feasibility of using pressurized solvent extraction with ethyl acetate to reduce the co-extraction of polar matrix components. Pigment attributed to chlorophyll was removed with in-cell clean-up utilizing Anasorb 747, Florisil®, and C18. Visible inspection of the extracts showed that pigment was removed from matcha, a powdered green tea sample. Pressurized solvent extraction with in-cell clean-up can be utilized to remove pigments from powdered samples such as nutraceuticals. Average matrix effect of the 32 target analytes that observed mass spectrometric signal suppression or soft MS signal enhancement was −41 ± 19% with the majority of analytes having a protonated molecular ion with m/z of 250 to 412. As generally moderate signal suppression was observed for conazole fungicides and structurally related compounds analyzed by LC-ESI+-MS/MS, it is recommended that matrix matched or standard addition calibration is used for quantitation. Catachins, other polyphenols, and caffeine are expected to contribute to the matrix effects observed in LC-ESI+-MS/MS. Diniconazole, fenbuconazole, and tebufenozide were the only target analytes with severe MS signal enhancement. Low levels (0.002–0.004 mg/kg) of prothioconazole-desthio and flusilazole were detected, along with trace levels of tebuthiuron in matcha. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of MS/MS Product Ions for the Differentiation of Structurally Isomeric Pesticides by High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Received: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
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Abstract
Structural isomeric pesticides are used in agriculture and may be challenging to differentiate for accurate identification in pesticide monitoring programs. Due to structural similarity, isomeric pesticides are difficult to separate chromatographically, and thus, their accurate identification may rely solely on mass spectrometric analysis
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Structural isomeric pesticides are used in agriculture and may be challenging to differentiate for accurate identification in pesticide monitoring programs. Due to structural similarity, isomeric pesticides are difficult to separate chromatographically, and thus, their accurate identification may rely solely on mass spectrometric analysis (MS). In this study, we challenged the ability of high-resolution quadrupole-orbitrap (Q-Orbitrap) mass spectrometry to produce and evaluate the tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) product ions for the selected five pairs of isomeric pesticides from different classes: Pebulate and vernolate, methiocarb and ethiofencarb, uniconazole and cyproconazole, sebuthylazine and terbuthylazine, and orbencarb and thiobencarb. The use of Q-Orbitrap instrument with a mass error <3 ppm allowed proposed elucidation of the product ion structures with consideration of the ion formulae, data interpretation, and literature searches. Product ions unique to pebulate, vernolate, methiocarb, ethiofencarb, and uniconazole were observed. Elucidation of the observed MS/MS product ion structures was conducted, and the fragmentation pathways were proposed. This information is valuable to increase selectivity in MS/MS analysis and differentiate isomeric pesticides, and thereby reduce the rates of false positives in pesticide monitoring programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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Open AccessArticle Perfuorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Brominated Dioxins (PBDDs) and Furans (PBDFs) in Wild and Farmed Organisms at Different Trophic Levels in the Mediterranean Sea
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
The present study shows the results of perfuorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), brominated dioxins (PBDDs) and furans (PBDFs) measured in several marine fish and seafood of commercial interest at different trophic levels of the food chain. The aims were to investigate the
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The present study shows the results of perfuorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), brominated dioxins (PBDDs) and furans (PBDFs) measured in several marine fish and seafood of commercial interest at different trophic levels of the food chain. The aims were to investigate the level of the contamination in Mediterranean aquatic wildlife, and in farmed fish, to assess human exposure associated to fishery products consumption. Samples of wild fish were collected during three different sampling campaigns in different Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 37 areas of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, farmed fish (gilthead sea bream and European sea bass) from off-shore cages from different marine aquaculture plants. Results showed contamination values of PFOS and PFOA were lower than those detected in sea basins other than the Mediterranean Sea. Concentration values of PFOS were generally higher than those of PFOA; moreover, levels in farmed fish were lower than in wild samples from the Mediterranean Sea. Intake of PFOS and PFOA through fishery products consumption was estimated to be 2.12 and 0.24 ng/kg·BW·day, respectively, for high consumers (95th percentile). Results of 2,3,7,8-substituted congeners of PBDDs and PBDFs were almost all below the limit of detection (LOD), making it difficult to establish the contribution of these compounds to the total contamination of dioxin-like compounds in fish and fishery products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Harmful Elements (Al, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Pb) in Wild Berries and Fruits Collected in Croatia
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
Fruits and vegetables are considered a beneficial contribution to the human diet. Especially, berries contain a great deal of bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins, organic acids, tannins, phenols, and antioxidants. Apart from organic substances, inorganic nutrients are also present in fruits. Some metals
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Fruits and vegetables are considered a beneficial contribution to the human diet. Especially, berries contain a great deal of bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins, organic acids, tannins, phenols, and antioxidants. Apart from organic substances, inorganic nutrients are also present in fruits. Some metals and metalloids are essential for humans, whilst others may exhibit harmful effects. Wild grown berries, collected in so-called unpolluted areas, are considered to be free of any potentially toxic ingredients. However, due to transmission processes pollutants can also reach remote areas and, furthermore, metal uptake from the soil via roots has to be taken into account. Thus, the presented study focused on the determination of Al, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Pb in lingonberries, blueberries, and rose hips collected in a non-polluted area in Croatia. Neither Cd nor Cr could be found in any sample. Ni levels were mainly up to 25 mg/kg, in a comparable range to the literature data. No health threat is to be expected by eating these fruits and berries regarding Cd, Cr, and Ni. Rose hips, however, contain Pb beyond the stipulated limit in fruits, and also Al is present at a high level (8 mg/g). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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Open AccessCommunication The Food and Beverage Occurrence of Furfuryl Alcohol and Myrcene—Two Emerging Potential Human Carcinogens?
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
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Abstract
For decades, compounds present in foods and beverages have been implicated in the etiology of human cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) continues to classify such agents regarding their potential carcinogenicity in humans based on new
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For decades, compounds present in foods and beverages have been implicated in the etiology of human cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) continues to classify such agents regarding their potential carcinogenicity in humans based on new evidence from animal and human studies. Furfuryl alcohol and β-myrcene are potential human carcinogens due to be evaluated. The major source of furfuryl alcohol in foods is thermal processing and ageing of alcoholic beverages, while β-myrcene occurs naturally as a constituent of the essential oils of plants such as hops, lemongrass, and derived products. This study aimed to summarize the occurrence of furfuryl alcohol and β-myrcene in foods and beverages using literature review data. Additionally, results of furfuryl alcohol occurrence from our own nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis are included. The highest content of furfuryl alcohol was found in coffee beans (>100 mg/kg) and in some fish products (about 10 mg/kg), while among beverages, wines contained between 1 and 10 mg/L, with 8 mg/L in pineapple juice. The content of β-myrcene was highest in hops. In conclusion, the data about the occurrence of the two agents is currently judged as insufficient for exposure and risk assessment. The results of this study point out the food and beverage groups that may be considered for future monitoring of furfuryl alcohol and β-myrcene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food)
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