The objective of the research study was to assess the effect of wood harvesting site on the content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the quality of traditionally smoked meat products tested directly after production and after 14 days of storage. The research material was a model pork sausage smoked in two variants, in a traditional smokehouse. In the first variant the wood used for smoking was harvested from ecological areas, while in the second – from industrialized areas. The PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) were determined by a high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD). There were also determined physicochemical and sensory properties along with the microbiological quality of sausages. In the research studies there was shown that the concentration of benzo[a]pyrene and the sum of 4PAHs (benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthen, chrysene) in the sausage, immediately after smoking with wood from ecological areas, did not exceed the maximum allowable concentrations and was 0.97 μg/kg, and the sum of 4 PAHs was 8.05 μg/kg. The average content of benzo[a]pyrene in the sausage, immediately after smoking with wood harvested from industrialized areas, was 2.41 μg/kg and the sum of 4PAHs was 14.87 μg/kg. According to the guidelines of the Commission Regulation of the European Union (EU) No 835/2011, such a product should not be consumed by people. It was found that the sausage smoked with ecological wood was characterised by a significantly lower level of the compounds analysed after 14 days of storage and did not exceed the permissible concentrations. Taking into account the maximum permissible level of the sum of 4PAHs and benzo[a]pyrene in the tested sausages, it has been confirmed that the PAH content in meat products depends on the site of harvesting the wood used during the smoking process.
meat products, traditional smoking, wood, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), health security