Quantitation of mutagenic/carcinogenic heterocyclic aromatic amines in food products

J Chromatogr. 1992 Feb 21;592(1-2):271-8. doi: 10.1016/0021-9673(92)85095-b.


A method for screening genotoxic heterocyclic aromatic amines in cooked foods using solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet and fluorescence detection is described. Solid-phase extraction includes basic extraction on diatomaceous earth (Extrelut) and subsequent purification on propylsulphonic acid silica gel. This convenient procedure separates the analytes into a polar group and an apolar group. We have identified the following components in the two groups. The polar group contains aminoimidazoazaarenes i.e. 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline, 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline, 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline, 2-amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo-[4,5-b]pyridine, and glutamic acid pyrolysates, i.e. 2-amino-6-methyldipyrido[1,2-a:3',2'-d]imidazole and 2-aminodipyrido[1,2-a:3',2'-d]-imidazole. The apolar group consists of five carbolines: 3-amino-1,4-dimethyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole, 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole, 2-amino-9H-pyrido[2,3-b]indole, 9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole and 1-methyl-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole. The extraction efficiencies range from 45 to 90%, and the detection limits are in the low nanogram per gram range. The method was applied to the analysis of heterocyclic aromatic amines in pan-fried, oven-cooked and barbecued salmon.

MeSH terms

  • Amines / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Fluorescence
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Meat / analysis
  • Mutagens / analysis*
  • Salmon


  • Amines
  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens