Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Associated with Smoked Fish

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MARCH, 2017
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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and their occurrence in foods has been one of the major phenomena contributing to the poor health and particularly rise in cancer cases recorded this past century. Activities involving heat and partial combustion of carbons such as smoking has been known to be implicated in the production of PAH thus this study sought to investigate the occurrence of PAH in smoked fish and the associated risks. A cross-sectional approach was adopted in conducting a survey after which five species of fish; Tuna (Thunnusspp.), Salmon (Salmosalar), Herrings (Clupeideaspp.), Mudfish (Claris glariepinus) and Mackerel were selected. A total of 30 samples were collected from markets within the central business district of the Kumasi metropolis and assayed for PAH using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The study focused on twelve PAH of which 10 were detected at varying concentrations; Naphthalene (3.25±0.32), 1-CH3napthalene (0.01±0.01), 2-CH3napthalene (0.13±0.01), Acenaphthene (0.11±0.01), Fluorene (0.01±0.01)), Pyrene (0.02±0.01), Anthracene (0.12±0.01), Fluoranthene (0.02±0.01), Benzo(k)fluoranthene (0.05±0.01) and Dibenz(a,h)anthracene (0.08±0.26) accounting for 80% of the total PAH spectrum under study. Benzo(b)fluoranthene and Benzo(a)pyrene were not detected as they were below the Limit Of Detection. The individual PAHs were present at varying concentrations differing significantly at P-value (0.0001) in the different fish species with Naphthalene recording the highest level of 3.25 mg/kg and Fluorene recording the least concentration of 0.002 mg/kg. The toxicity and mutagenic equivalent concentrations are 0.000085790 mg/kg and 0.000034620 mg/kg respectively, both lower than the standard 0f 0.001 mg/kg. The hazard quotient was 0.298 further buttressing the safety of the smoked fish. Herrings recorded the least PAH contamination (0.0025±0.008) with salmon following suit (0.034±0.098) whereas Mackerel recorded the highest PAH level (2.328±7.855) with Mudfish recording (0.268±0.412) and Tuna (0.108±0.192). Mackerel recorded the highest as a result of the fat deposit and the duration of smoking and vice versa for herring which recorded the least. Significant to the findings of this research is the toxicity and mutagenic equivalence were all below the safe limit and the hazard quotient was also within range thus indicating the safety of consumers upon consuming smoked fish.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management,