Health Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Processed Cocoa Foods

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JUNE, 2018
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Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) have carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic properties, making their presence in food and environment dangerous for human health. This study accessed the health risk due to PAH associated with the consumption of processed cocoa foods in Kumasi. A total of 60 food samples (matrices) were sampled from 5 locations in Kumasi metropolis - About 300 respondents in a survey helped determine the body weights, amounts consumed and their contact rate as input variables for the risk assessment. A probabilistic risk assessment framework based on incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) approaches was used to quantitatively estimate their risk of exposure. The oral-ILCR for the 95th percentile which represents the highest consumable group of the population was 2.59x10-6. This level of risk exposure was above the acceptable 10-6 range of the de minimis. This indicates that there is a cancer risk on the consumers used for the study, given that cocoa products are the only source of exposure. The sensitivity analysis indicated that, the contact rate has a strong positive correlation and regression to the risk exposure. It is therefore important to reduce the rate of consumption as to reduce the incidence of PAH accumulation in the body.
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,