Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2019
Publication Date: 6/27/2019
Citation: Han, L., Sapozhnikova, Y.V., Nunez, A. 2019. Analysis and occurrence of organophosphate esters in meats and fish consumed in the USA. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 67, 46, 12652–12662. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b01548.
Interpretive Summary: Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are chemicals extensively used as plasticizers and flame retardants in many commercial and consumer products. There is a concern about human exposure to OPEs through inhalation/ingestion and dietary intake, but the information on their occurrence in foods is scarce. In this study, we developed a method for the analysis of thirteen most commonly used OPEs in meat (chicken, pork and beef) and fish (catfish and salmon. The method was used to study their occurrence in meat and fish commonly consumed in the USA. Three OPEs were found in meat(goat, beef, pork and turkey)and two OPEs were found in fish at low ng/g levels. The generated data on the occurrence of these contaminants is the US foods may aid in future risk assessment and regulations, protecting human health.
Technical Abstract: Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are chemicals extensively used as plasticizers and flame retardants in commercial and consumer products. In this study, we developed and validated a method for the analysis of thirteen most commonly used OPEs in meat (chicken, pork and beef) and fish (catfish and salmon) muscles to study their occurrence in meat and fish consumed in the USA. The method was based on QuEChERS extraction with acetonitrile and automated robotic cleanup of the extracts, followed by low pressure GC-MS/MS analysis for 8 OPEs and UHPLC-MS/MS analysis for 13 OPEs. The developed method was validated in the five selected matrices at four spiking levels (5, 10, 20 and 40 ng/g), and satisfactory recoveries (70-120%) and RSDs (<20%) were achieved for all 13 OPEs. OPEs’ ubiquitous presence in laboratory environment and materials presented a challenge to their accurate quantitation at low ng/g levels. HRAM with UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap MS analysis was utilized to pinpoint the source of their contamination. OPEs were found in water used in the LC mobile phase, and flow injection analysis with organic mobile phase was suggested as an alternative to avoid OPEs contamination in LC-MS/MS analysis. The developed method was applied to the analysis of real-world meat and fish samples from the US markets by the three instrumental methods. TCPP, TnBP, and TPP were found in meat (goat, beef, pork and turkey), and TCPP and TPP were measured in fish samples. The sum of median OPEs concentrations (averaged for the three instrumental methods) measured in meat and fish samples were 6.2 and 8.7 ng/g wet weight (ww), respectively.