Assessment of Bioactive Surfactant Levels in Selected Cereal Products

By Magdalena Surma, Katarzyna Sznajder-Katarzyńska, Wiesław Wiczkowski, and Henryk Zieliński
Applied Sciences
May 30, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/app12105242

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are bioactive surfactants that are widespread in the environment and living organisms. This study presents measurements of PFAS in selected food of plant origin that are part of the healthy eating pyramid, including bread, rolls, flour, bran, buckwheat, millet, rice, and noodles. A simple and reliable analytical method was developed for the simultaneous determination of seven perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) and three perfluoroalkane sulfonates (PFSAs) in cereal-based products. Out of the 10 PFASs, 5 PFASs were detected at levels above LOQ. The most frequently detected compound was perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was quantified in 65.2% of samples, while none of the others were present in more than 40.0% of tested products. Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) was the predominant PFAS in cereal-based products, and its maximum measured concentration was 202.85 ng/g for wheat bran. The soil–root–shoot interactions in relation to PFAS transfer to the above-ground parts of plants and PFAS’s ability to interfere with proteins are most likely the sources of these compounds in commonly consumed cereal products. As PFBA contributes greatly to total PFAS concentration, this food group should be included in future dietary exposure assessments.


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