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Benzene frequently found in foods: do we underestimate the exposure to benzene from the food chain?

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Organization
Abstract
Benzene is classified by the IARC as carcinogenic to humans. Several sources may contribute for the occurrence of this toxic compound in foods, such as, environmental and process contamination and the oxidative decarboxilation of benzoic acid in the presence of ascorbic acid. Benzoate salts and ascorbic acid may be naturally present or added as food additives. A screening for the presence of benzene in foods of the Belgian market was performed. 400 food samples were purchased in local supermarkets. Food selection was based on several criteria, including the natural presence of benzoate, the presence of benzoate as a food additive, the potential presence of environmental or process contaminations, etc. Food samples were analyzed by distillation and isotope dilution HS-GC/MS. This method was fully validated [1] and presents detection limits below the legal limit established by the European Council for benzene in drinking water (1 µg L-1). Precautions were taken to prevent losses of benzene and/or artefactual benzene formation from benzoic acid during analysis. Preliminary results of 290 samples analysed showed the presence of benzene in 64 % of the samples. 36 % of the samples contained benzene above 1 µg L-1 and 23 samples (8%) presented benzene concentrations above 10 µg L-1. The highest benzene contents were found in coffee, tea and fish products. These high concentrations are possibly due to the production process or specific nature of the food samples. The high number of contaminated samples suggests that environmental contamination of benzene in the food chain should not be underestimated. References [1] R.M.Vinci, M. Canfyn, B. De Meulenaer, T. de Schaetzen, I. Van Overmeire, J. De Beer and J. Van Loco, Determination of benzene in different food matrices by distillation and isotope dilution HS-GC/MS; Analytica Chimica Acta 672 (2010) 124–129

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Chicago
Catarino Medeiros Vinci, Raquel, Liesbeth Jacxsens, Bruno De Meulenaer, Thibault de Schaetzen, Michael Canfyn , Ilse Van Overmeire , and Joris Van Loco . 2010. “Benzene Frequently Found in Foods: Do We Underestimate the Exposure to Benzene from the Food Chain?” In EFFoST Annual Meeting, Abstracts. European Federation of Food Science and Technolgy (EFFoST).
APA
Catarino Medeiros Vinci, R., Jacxsens, L., De Meulenaer, B., de Schaetzen, T., Canfyn , M., Van Overmeire , I., & Van Loco , J. (2010). Benzene frequently found in foods: do we underestimate the exposure to benzene from the food chain? EFFoST Annual Meeting, Abstracts. Presented at the 2010 EFFoST Annual Meeting : Food and health, European Federation of Food Science and Technolgy (EFFoST).
Vancouver
1.
Catarino Medeiros Vinci R, Jacxsens L, De Meulenaer B, de Schaetzen T, Canfyn M, Van Overmeire I, et al. Benzene frequently found in foods: do we underestimate the exposure to benzene from the food chain? EFFoST Annual Meeting, Abstracts. European Federation of Food Science and Technolgy (EFFoST); 2010.
MLA
Catarino Medeiros Vinci, Raquel, Liesbeth Jacxsens, Bruno De Meulenaer, et al. “Benzene Frequently Found in Foods: Do We Underestimate the Exposure to Benzene from the Food Chain?” EFFoST Annual Meeting, Abstracts. European Federation of Food Science and Technolgy (EFFoST), 2010. Print.
@inproceedings{1175269,
  abstract     = {Benzene is classified by the IARC as carcinogenic to humans. Several sources may contribute for the occurrence of this toxic compound in foods, such as, environmental and process contamination and the oxidative decarboxilation of benzoic acid in the presence of ascorbic acid. Benzoate salts and ascorbic acid may be naturally present or added as food additives. A screening for the presence of benzene in foods of the Belgian market was performed. 
400 food samples were purchased in local supermarkets. Food selection was based on several criteria, including the natural presence of benzoate, the presence of benzoate as a food additive, the potential presence of environmental or process contaminations, etc.
Food samples were analyzed by distillation and isotope dilution HS-GC/MS. This method was fully validated [1] and presents detection limits below the legal limit established by the European Council for benzene in drinking water (1 {\textmu}g L-1). Precautions were taken to prevent losses of benzene and/or artefactual benzene formation from benzoic acid during analysis. 
Preliminary results of 290 samples analysed showed the presence of benzene in 64 \% of the samples. 36 \% of the samples contained benzene above 1 {\textmu}g L-1 and 23 samples (8\%) presented benzene concentrations above 10 {\textmu}g L-1. The highest benzene contents were found in coffee, tea and fish products. These high concentrations are possibly due to the production process or specific nature of the food samples. The high number of contaminated samples suggests that environmental contamination of benzene in the food chain should not be underestimated. 
References
[1] R.M.Vinci, M. Canfyn, B. De Meulenaer, T. de Schaetzen, I. Van Overmeire, J. De Beer and J. Van Loco, Determination of benzene in different food matrices by distillation and isotope dilution HS-GC/MS;  Analytica Chimica Acta 672 (2010) 124--129},
  author       = {Catarino Medeiros Vinci, Raquel and Jacxsens, Liesbeth and De Meulenaer, Bruno and de Schaetzen, Thibault  and  Canfyn , Michael and Van Overmeire , Ilse  and Van Loco , Joris },
  booktitle    = {EFFoST Annual Meeting, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Dublin, Ireland},
  publisher    = {European Federation of Food Science and Technolgy (EFFoST)},
  title        = {Benzene frequently found in foods: do we underestimate the exposure to benzene from the food chain?},
  year         = {2010},
}