Non-targeted analysis of per-and polyfluorinated substances in consumer food packaging

By Kevin M. Stroski, Yelena Sapozhnikova, Raegyn B. Taylor, and Andrew Harron
June 3, 2024
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2024.142436

This study sought to develop a non-targeted workflow using high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to investigate previously unknown PFAS in consumer food packaging samples. Samples composed of various materials for different food types were subjected to methanolic extraction, controlled migration with food simulants and total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay. The developed HRMS workflow utilized many signatures unique to PFAS compounds: negative mass defect, diagnostic breakdown structures, as well as retention time prediction. Potential PFAS features were identified in all packaging studied, regardless of food and material types. Five tentatively identified compounds were confirmed with analytical standards: 6:2 fluorotelomer phosphate diester (6:2 diPAP) and one of its intermediate breakdown products 2H-perfluoro-2-octenoic acid (6:2 FTUCA), perfluoropentadecanoic acid (PFPeDA), perfluorohexadecanoic acid (PFHxDA) and perfluorooctadecanoic acid (PFOcDA). Longer perfluorocarboxylic acids including C17 and C19 to C24 were also found present within a foil sample. Concentrations of 6:2 FTUCA ranged from 0.78 to 127 ng g−1 in methanolic extracts and up to 6 ng g−1 in food simulant after 240 h migration test. These results demonstrate the prevalence of both emerging and legacy PFAS in food packaging samples and highlight the usefulness of non-targeted tools to identify PFAS not included in targeted methods.


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