Isaac Scientific Publishing

Advances in Food Science and Engineering

Evaluation of PAH Contamination from Smoke in Smoked Fish Obtained from Northern Nigeria

Download PDF (1413.4 KB) PP. 1 - 13 Pub. Date: March 1, 2020

DOI: 10.22606/afse.2020.41001


  • Oko, O. J.*
    Department of Chemical Sciences, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria
  • C. O. B. Okoye
    Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria


Atlantic mackerel (Scomber Scombrus) fish were collected from processors in parts of northern Nigeria. The PAHs in smoked and non smoked samples were extracted with a mixture of dichloromethane and hexane in the ratio of 3:1 then cleaned up in a column packed with alumina. The cleaned extract was analyzed with gas chromatograph (HP 6890) coupled to flame ionization detector (FID). The study revealed that the total PAH concentrations in the non smoked fish is 5.675μgkg-1 while the total PAH concentrationsin the smoked fishes were 17.965 μgkg-1 (smoked semidried fish) and 20.150 μgkg-1(smoked dried fish) respectively. The % PAH contamination levels from smoke in the smoked semi-dried fish was in the range of 20-94 while that for the smoked dried fish was in the range of 20-95. Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene had the lowest contaminations from smoke in both the smoked semi-dried and smoked dried fish. Twelve of the sixteen listed USEPA PAHs had mean concentrations that were statistically significant between the smoked fish and non smoked fish (p<0.05). However, acenaphtylene, benz[a]anthracene, dibenz[a,h]anthraceneand indeno[1,2,3- cd]pyrene which contaminated the fish were not significant statistically (p>0.05). Generally, the smoked dried fish were more contaminated than the smoked semi-dried fish. Nevertheless, the smoked fish were within the recommended Food Standard Agency limits of 2 μgkg-1and 12μgkg-1for benzo[a]pyrene and PAH4 respectively. Consumption of small quantities of smoked fish may not necessarily pose threat to health. The study also provided database on PAH in foods fromparts of northern Nigeria which could contribute to establishing Nigerian standards for PAH in foods.


Benzo[a]pyrene, contamination levels, fish, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH4, smoked fish


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