Abstract: A simple, fast, and cost effective sample preparation procedure has been developed and validated for the determination of 15+1 European Union Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (15+1 EU PAHs) in dried tea leave samples. Based on a critical assessment of several sample extraction/clean-up approaches, the method based on the ethyl acetate extraction followed by the use of PAHs dedicated cartridges with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) has been found as an optimal alternative in terms of time demands and obtained good extract purity. For the final identification/quantification of target PAHs, two dimensional gas chromatography coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS) was used. The performance characteristics of the overall analytical method for individual PAHs determined at three spiking levels (0.5, 2.5 and 5 μg kg-1) were in following ranges: limits of quantitation (LOQs) 0.05 - 0.2 μg kg-1, repeatabilities 2 - 9%, and recoveries 73 - 103%. The recoveries achieved by the newly developed sample preparation procedure when employed for naturally contaminated sample (''incurred'' PAHs) were comparable to those obtained by other routinely used approaches employing sonication and/or pressurised liquid extraction for sample analytes isolation. The validated method was subsequently used for the determination of selected genotoxic PAHs in 36 samples of black and green tea obtained from the Czech retail market. The levels of σPAH4 (sum of benzo[a]anthracene (BaA), chrysene (CHR), benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbFA) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)) in black and green tea leaves ranged from 7.4 to 700 μg kg-1 and from 4.5 to 102 μg kg-1, respectively. Contamination of tested tea samples by BaP was in the range of 0.2 - 152 μg kg-1.
Template and target information: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs, benzo[a]anthracene, BaA, chrysene, CHR, benzo[b]fluoranthene, BbFA, benzo[a]pyrene, BaP
Author keywords: Dried tea leaves, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs, Molecularly imprinted polymers, MIPs, GCxGC-TOFMS