Environmental Contaminants in Food edited by Colin F. Moffat

Written by respected scientists from around the world, Environmental Contaminants in Food presents examples of research activities devoted to ensuring that the input of contaminants into foods is minimized. Chapters detail methods of modern instrumental analysis with specific analytes, with risk assessment, and, uniquely, with sensory assessment and tainting.


  • Discusses the most versatile and most widely used analytical techniques for quantifying trace levels of specific organic contaminants in food
  • Considers benefits, limitations, and strategies for ensuring data integrity and quality control
  • Examines availability of reliable data, usefulness of databases, and problems in using data to provide meaningful assessments of the risks of exposure to contaminants in food


Introduction: Complexity, sources and pathways of contamination. Bioavailability, interactions, biomarkers. Phthalates. Organophosphate esters.
Gas chromatography and mass-spectroscopy techniques: Historical perspectives and developments. Instrumentation. Mass spectrometry. Quantification. Quality control. Benefits, limitations and future perspectives.
Instrumentation and applications of HPLC for the analysis of food contaminants: Instrumentation for HPLC. Applications for the analysis of contamination in food. Benefits and limitations.
Advances in immunochemical methods of analysis: Methodology. Typical analysis. Benefits and limitations. Quantification and accuracy. Quality control. Relationship to chemical analysis.
Radioactivity in Food: Radiation units and biological effects. Assessing the dose from ingestion of radionuclides. Standards for radioactivity in food and water. Collective doses. Radionuclide movement through the food chain. Detection methods. Natural sources of radioactivity in food. Anthropogenic sources of radioactivity in food. Effects of food processing and decontamination of food.
Trace metal contaminants in food: Factors influencing toxicity of heavy metals. Dietary intake of environmentally important metals. Steps to reduce contamination.
Pesticides: Main classes of pesticides. Physicochemical properties of pesticides related to their post-application fate. Input of pesticides in the environment after application. Effects of processing/cooking procedures on residues. Toxicity of pesticides to humans. Occurrence of pesticides in the human food supply. Legislative and regulatory issues. Analytical problems. Strategies for the reduction of occurrence of pesticides in the human diet.
Veterinary drugs including antibiotics: Legislation. Surveillance program. Causes of residues in the food supply. Residence times, depuration. Methods of analysis. Accreditation and quality assurance. Future developments.
Polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins and other polyhalogenated hydrocarbons as environmental contaminants in food: Sources of contaminants. Transfer through the food chain. Residence times/depuration rates. Concentrations in food products. Potential human hazards of consumption. Permitted concentrations. Specific methods of analysis and analytical problems. Future perspectives.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum and other hydrocarbon contaminants: The hydrocarbon family - chemistry and properties. Determination of hydrocarbons in foods. The variety of sources and inputs of hydrocarbons. Transfer to and through the food chain. Hydrocarbon concentrations in foods. Human exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Tainting of food by chemical contaminants: Measurement of taints. Examples of tainting of foods. Implications for food control and food quality assurance.
Risk assessment of environmental contaminants in food: Concept of risk in relation to food. Contaminants in food. General aspects of risk assessment. Identifying hazards associated with contaminants. Evaluating dose-response relationships. Estimation of dietary exposure. Characterizing risk. Options for risk management. Future directions.
Safety standards for food contaminants: US dietary data and their limitations. Environmental chemical contaminants of food. Role of governments, industry and consumer advocates in protecting public health.

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Environmental Contaminants in Food
edited by Colin F. Moffat and Kevin J. Whittle
584 pages • $198.95 + shipping
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