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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides in milk powder

  • Simona Dobrinas (a1), Alina Soceanu (a1), Viorica Popescu (a1) and Valentina Coatu (a2)

This Research Communication reports analysis of 37 compounds comprising polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides (OCPS and OPPS) in milk powder (one brand each of commercial infant formulae, follow-on formulae and baby formulae purchased from a local supermarket in Romania). The selected analytes were investigated using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography with electron capture detector (GC-ECD) and gas chromatography with thermionic sensitive detection (GC-TSD). The estimated limits of detection for most target analytes were in the μg/kg level (range 0·001–0·320 µg/kg). The purpose of the study was to determine the selected analytes, to assess the exposure of babies and infants and to produce data for comparison with tolerable limits according to the European Union Regulations. In most of the samples the organochlorine pesticides values were under the limit of detection. Exceptions were heptachlor epoxide and endosulfan sulphate, the last of which was found in all analysed samples at low concentrations. We also found detectable levels of ethoprophos, parathion-methyl, chlorpyrifos, prothiofos, guthion, disulfoton and fenchlorphos in most of the analysed samples. Benzo[a]pyrene, which is used as an indicator for the presence of PAHs, was not detected in selected samples. The low level of exposure to contaminants indicates that there are no health risks for the infants and babies that consume this brand of milk powder formulae.

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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-dairy-research
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