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Journal of Food Quality
Volume 2017, Article ID 1076876, 7 pages
Research Article

Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Tea Infusions Samples by High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Fluorimetric Detection

1Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le A.Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2Department of Management, Laboratory of Commodity Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161 Rome, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Anna Maria Girelli; ti.1amorinu@illerig.airamanna

Received 13 July 2016; Accepted 19 October 2016; Published 11 January 2017

Academic Editor: Elena González-Fandos

Copyright © 2017 Anna Maria Girelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study focuses on the contamination of 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency, in 10 tea brands distributed in Italy. Analyses were carried out with a procedure based on saponification, liquid-liquid extraction, and PAHs determination by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detector. A comparison with ultrasonic extraction in bath water was also reported. Contamination is expressed as the sum of analyzed PAHs and ranged between 347 and 4120 ng/L with a mean value of 1675 ng/L. PAHs with 3-4 rings were dominant with a contribution of 92%, while 7% and 1% were found for PAHs with 5 and 6 rings, respectively. Moreover, data revealed that three samples exceeded the EU 2008 criteria established for drinking water in which the sum of benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[g,h,i]perylene, and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene is considered (<100 ng/L) and two samples exceeded the 10 ng/L level allowed for benzo[a]pyrene.