Determination and Quantitation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Spice Matrices via GC/MS
Kaylors, Andrew S.
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Testing for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has become commonplace among companies from numerous different fields. PAH testing is found within the pharmaceutical industry, environmental quality, and also the food industry to ensure that these oftencarcinogenic compounds are not present in company products. Kalsec®, the Kalamazoo Spice Extraction Company, would also like to confirm that their products are PAH-Free. A method was developed in order to quantitatively analyze the PAH concentration in Kalsec® spices. Four PAHs were examined as a representative sample and are collectively known as PAH4: benzo[a]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and chrysene. Many separation instruments including HPLCs, UPLCs, and GCs were evaluated and they were coupled with PDA, FLD, and MS detectors. Through careful analysis, gas chromatography coupled with ion trap mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was proven to be the most effective analytical approach. Numerous Kalsec® spices were tested for the PAH4 compounds and each spice gave undetectable PAH results. Standard analysis and matrix spiking showed that the limits of detection for the PAH4 compounds were less than 10 μg/kg - the FDA approved limit. Thus, the tested Kalsec® spices are safe for consumption.