The objective of this research was to determine the contamination of fruit and herbal teas with PAHs, among other things with 4 compounds from the group of light PAHs listed by EPA, and 15 compounds listed by The EU Scientific Committee on Food. The material investigated were popular brands of fruit and herbal teas. The methodology applied to the study consisted of the following: isolation of PAHs from a food matrix, purification of the extract in order to remove interfering compounds by a gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and qualitative-quantitative determination of PAHs by a liquid chromatography with selective detectors (HPLC–FLD/DAD). Significant differences were found in the contamination level of particular commercial brands of teas in all the analyzed kinds of both the fruit and herbal teas. However, similar quality profiles of PAHs were observed, with a very high level of light PAHs in the total content of these compounds. Among all the teas under investigation, no benzo[a]pyrene nor the most carcinogenic polyarenes, i.e. dibenzopyrenes, were detected.
PAHs, fruit teas, herbal teas, food contaminants