Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, University "G. d'Annunzio" of Chieti-Pescara; Department of Pharmacy, Via dei Vestini, 31; 66100 Chieti (CH), Italy.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitary contaminants, which constitute a wide range of organic compounds.
Many of them proved to be carcinogenic and mutagenic, produced mainly by industrial and non-industrial combustion processes, but also are present in water, air, soil, and as contaminants in foods, and beverages. Several industrial processes and artificial human activities can increase naturally environmental levels of these ubiquitary compounds, thereby increasing the levels of detected PAHs in final alimentary products.
This paper reports PAHs extraction and detection techniques in beverages, including the analysis of beer, wine, spirits, tea, and coffee and, more generally, the standard drinks intended for human consumption. The state of the art in terms of sample pre-treatment techniques, and the main assays for their analysis by gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), with relative detection techniques, are described and catered. Moreover, major metabolites were determined in beverages, in order to provide a complete scenario for these kinds of ubiquitary contaminants.