Skip to main content
EU Science Hub
General publications

PAHs in primary smoke condensate

Analysis of 16 PAHs in a smoke condensate mixture


Publication date
30 January 2013


Analysis of 16 PAHs in a smoke condensate mixture

Interlaboratory comparison study on the quantitation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in primary smoke condensate

In 2002, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) assessed 33 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and found that due to their toxic properties 15 of them were of major concern for human health and should be monitored to enable long-term exposure assessments [1]. In November 2003 a new regulation came into force defining maximum permitted concentrations for benzo[a]pyrene (10 μg/kg) and benz[a]anthracene (20 μg/kg) in materials to be used for the production of smoke flavourings for human consumption [2]. The regulation requires the registration of those materials before their introduction on the European internal market. In 2005 the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives identified one additional compound that should be monitored as well [3]. These 15+1 analytes (16 EU priority PAHs) are targeted by this collaborative trial (see below).

The aim of this study was to provide to expert laboratories the possibility to assess their performance for the analysis of PAHs in primary smoke condensates (PSC). From the list of analytes given below, at least benzo[a]pyrene and benz[a]anthracene was to be analysed as both are regulated for PSC.

Test materials and analytes

Two individual samples of a liquid smoke condensate mixture spiked with the 16 PAHs of concern were supplied to the participants for analysis.

The target analytes are:

benzo[c]fluorene, benzo[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[j]fluoranthene , benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[ghi]perylene, benzo[a]pyrene, cyclopenta[cd]pyrene, dibenzo[a,h]anthracene, dibenzo[a,e]pyrene, dibenzo[a,h]pyrene, dibenzo[a,i]pyrene, dibenzo[a,l]pyrene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, chrysene, and 5-methylchrysene.

General outline of the exercise

The participants were requested to perform replicate analyses on the samples applying a method of their own choice. Methods based on GC/MS as well as LC/FLD have been recently validated by a collaborative trial [4,5].

As one of the PAHs has shown to be unstable, the given period of time for analysis was short, max. 10 days after dispatch date scheduled for June 2006. The dispatch date was confirmed one week in advance.


1.Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on the risks to human health of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in food, 4 December 2002, SCF/CS/CNTM/PAF/29/Final

2. Regulation (EC) No 2065/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 2003 on smoke flavourings used or intended for use in or on foods

3. Summary and Conclusions of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, Sixty-Fourth meeting, Rome, 8-17 February 2005, JECFA/64/SC

4. Palme, S., Simon, R. and Anklam, E., Validation of two methods for the quantification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in primary smoke condensates: Report on the collaborative trial, Report EUR 21679 EN, Belgium 2005

5. Simon, R., Palme, S. and Anklam, E., Single-laboratory validation of a gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry method for quantification of 15 European priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in spiked smoke condensates, Journal of Chromatography A 1103 (2006) 307–313

6. Simon, R., Palme, S. and Anklam, E., Determination of the 15 European priority PAHs in primary smoke condensates by GC-MS: Collaborative validation, Journal of AOAC International (2006) in press.

Year:2006-01-01 00:00:00


(22.25 KB - PDF)