Food safety deals with handling, preparation (processing), and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne illness. During all these phases, food may be subject to contamination. Acrylamide is a process contaminant that is generated from food components during heat treatment, while it is absent in raw foodstuffs. Alternaria alternata is a microfungus, capable of growing even at low temperatures. It was found in vegetables, cereals, fruits, and oilseeds, and can release mycotoxins. Cholesterol oxidation products are steroid molecules that can accumulate under oxidative conditions in foods rich in animal lipids. The levels of all these contaminants in food arouse great concern. The QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) approach is an adaptable and multi-purpose liquid-liquid extraction that was proven to effectively isolate a wide range of contaminants from food, including veterinary drugs, dyes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The extracts can be analysed by LC-MS-Triple Quadrupole. This technique was successfully applied to (i) dried fruits (dried prunes and raisins) and edible seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts) for acrylamide determination; to (ii) tomato-based products and fruit-based products for four Alternaria mycotoxins determination; to (iii) three types of packaged cheese subjected to photo-oxidative stress for cholesterol oxidation products determination. QuEChERS approach showed to be an easy, fast, and cheap “one-pot” procedure. In fact, this method requires a reduced amount of solvent compared to liquid-liquid extraction and does not include the use of disposable cartridges as the solid phase extraction does.
QuEChERS approach for identification and quantification of food contaminants. Case studies: acrylamide, Alternaria alternata mycotoxins, cholesterol oxidation products / Montevecchi, Giuseppe; DE PAOLA, ELEONORA LAURA; De Berardis, Sara; Masino, Francesca; Garbini, Davide; Melucci, Dora; Antonelli, Andrea. - (2018). (Intervento presentato al convegno 2nd International Conference on Bioanalysis: Food and Health tenutosi a Mahdia nel 15 Dicembre 2018).