Journal of AOAC International

Sample preparation improvement in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons determination in olive oils by gel permeation chromatography and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection.

PMID 16152949


The determination of 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in olive oil samples has been improved in order to obtain a fast methodology with a low limit of detection through the combination of liquid-liquid extraction with acetonitrile and preparative gel permeation chromatography (GPC) prior to the injection of purified extracts into a C18 column. Acetonitrile-water was used as the mobile phase with a gradient from 50 to 95%, w/w, acetonitrile in 30 min. The oven temperature was maintained at 15 degrees C, and fluorometric detection was made at a fixed excitation wavelength of 264 nm and variable, optimal emission wavelength for each analyte ranging from 352 nm for 11-H-benzo(b)fluorene to 500 nm for indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene. Recovery for all the compounds studied varied from 75 to 111%, and limit of detection values from 0.05 ng/g for benzo(k)fluoranthene to 0.48 ng/g for indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, corresponding to 0.09 ng/g benzo(a)pyrene. Results were compared with those obtained by liquid-liquid extraction followed by a cleanup on silica and a direct GPC treatment of oil samples diluted in dichloromethane, 2 other methodologies that are appropriate for quantifying PAHs in olive oils. However, the proposed method improves the determination limits, reduces the time of analysis, and provides a highly stable baseline for sample chromatograms.