Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in commonly consumed Nigerian smoked/grilled fish and meat

Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2009 Jul;26(7):1096-103. doi: 10.1080/02652030902855406.


Smoking and/or grilling, when carried out with traditional methods involving direct contact with wood combustion fumes, is responsible for high contamination levels with carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The aim of this work was to investigate the PAH content of different smoked or grilled meat and fish products commonly consumed in Nigeria. A rapid method involving microwave-assisted saponification and simultaneous extraction followed by solid-phase extraction (SPE), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation and spectrofluorometric detection was employed. Samples that were smoked or grilled using traditional systems, which use a wood fire, were heavily contaminated with benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) at levels ranging from 2.4 to 31.2 microg kg(-1) wet weight. Considerably lower contamination levels were found in samples smoked or grilled in the laboratory using a charcoal fire (BaP from 0.7 to 2.8 microg kg(-1) wet weight). The health risk associated with a daily consumption of 100 g of these products was also evaluated using the margin of exposure (MOE) approach. MOE values lower than 10,000 were obtained for all smoked/grilled commercial samples, indicating a potential concern for consumer health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Fishes
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Meat / analysis*
  • Nigeria
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Smoke*


  • Carcinogens
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Smoke