Solvent-Free Determination of Selected Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Plant Material Used for Food Supplements Preparation: Optimization of a Solid Phase Microextraction Method

Molecules. 2023 Aug 8;28(16):5937. doi: 10.3390/molecules28165937.


The exploitation of waste and by-products in various applications is becoming a cornerstone of the circular economy. A range of biomasses can be employed to produce food supplements. An example is a particular extract obtained from plant buds (rich in bioactive molecules), which can be easily retrieved from cities’ pruning. In order to safely use this material, its possible contamination by organic pollutants needs to be estimated. A green and simple method to detect priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in bud samples by head space solid phase microextraction coupled to GC-MS was developed. This strategy, optimized through experimental design and response surface methodology, requires a minimal sample pre-treatment and negligible solvent consumption. The final method was found to be accurate and sensitive for PAHs with mass up to 228 Da. For these analytes, satisfactory figures of merit were achieved, with detection limits in the range 1-4 ng g-1, good inter-day precision (relative standard deviation in the range 4-11%), and satisfactory accuracy (88-105%), along with specificity guaranteed by the selected ion monitoring detection. The method was applied to bud samples coming from differently polluted areas, thus helping in estimating the safety of their use for the production of food supplements.

PMID:37630189 | PMC:PMC10459292 | DOI:10.3390/molecules28165937


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