The effect of cooking practices on the concentration of DDT and PCB compounds in the edible tissue of fish

J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 1998 Jul-Sep;8(3):423-40.


Chemical contaminants in fish can be an important source of human exposure to chemicals. Assessments of the fish consumption pathway need to adjust the concentrations of the chemical to account for reductions in 1,1-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethane (DDD), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) (herein collectively referred to as total DDT or tDDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that can occur during cooking. The results of this analysis indicate that baking, frying, broiling, boiling, smoking, and microwaving all effectively reduce the concentrations of tDDT and PCBs in fish tissue. Average reductions in tDDT ranged from 16 to 55% depending on the cooking method. Similar reductions in PCBs ranged from 26 to 68%. An evaluation of the factors influencing the degree of cooking loss indicated that neither initial chemical mass in the raw fillet, fillet lipid content, nor skin removal were significant predictors of the percent reduction in tDDT or PCB.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cooking / methods*
  • DDT / analysis*
  • DDT / pharmacokinetics
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Fishes*
  • Food Contamination*
  • Humans
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / pharmacokinetics
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • DDT
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls