HomeEfficient PAH Analysis (EU 15+1) using an Ascentis® Express PAH HPLC Column

Efficient PAH Analysis (EU 15+1) using an Ascentis® Express PAH HPLC Column

Petra Lewits, Global Product Manager HPLC Columns


Article from Analytix Reporter - Issue 14

In 2005, the European Commission (EU) recommended the monitoring of 15 priority PAHs along with an additional PAH highlighted by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) which are considered toxic in food products.1 The list contains eight of the EPA’s priority PAHs along with eight other compounds that are known carcinogens.

In this application, we demonstrate a PAH analysis method for the separation of EU 15 + 1 PAH compounds on a 50 x 4.6 mm, 2.7 μm Ascentis® Express PAH column. The analysis was completed under the given conditions (Table 1) in less than ten minutes with an excellent resolution between the critical pair, peaks 4 and 5 (chrysene and 5-methylchrysene), that only differ by the presence of a methyl group (Figure 1).

Table 1.Experimental conditions for EU 15 + 1 PAH analysis
Separation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons acc. to EU 15 + 1 using an Ascentis® Express PAH HPLC Column

Figure 1.Separation of EU 15 + 1 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using an Ascentis® Express PAH HPLC Column (Peak IDs Table 2).

Table 2.Peak Identity of the 16 PAHs analyzed


The new Ascentis® Express PAH HPLC column allows a highly efficient separation of 16 PAHs in 10 minutes. The Fused-Core® technology of Ascentis® Express PAH HPLC columns enables fast, efficient, and rugged separations, which are paramount to environmental and food analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

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Reference Materials


European Union, Commission Recommendation 2005/108/EC, Off. J.Eur.Comm. L34 (2005) 43. [Internet]. Available from:
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