African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 964

Full Length Research Paper

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in some locally consumed fishes in Nigeria

B. O. Silva1, O. T. Adetunde2, T. O. Oluseyi2*, K. O. Olayinka2 and B. I. Alo2
1Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. 2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 April 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2011


Food smoking belongs to one of the oldest technologies of food preservation which mankind has used in fish processing. Potential health hazards associated with smoked foods may be caused by carcinogenic components of wood smoke – mainly polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and derivatives of PAH. Comparison of the concentration of PAHs in smoked fish samples processed by sawdust, charcoal and firewood were investigated with the aim of determining the process that contributed more concentration of the PAHs to the fish samples. For this study, three species of fishes were investigated: Arius heude loti (cat-fish), Cynoglossus senegalensis (sole) and Haake (fresh stock fish). The PAHs in the samples were extracted using solvents by ultrasonication and were analysed for the 16 US EPA polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using HPLC with a UV DAD detector. The results showed that smoked fish samples that were processed by charcoal gave the lowest level of total PAHs, followed by firewood method, while the sawdust method gave the highest level of total PAHs in the smoked fishes. The level of PAHs in three species of fishes smoked also correlated with the fat content.

Key words: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), smoked fish, fat and oil contents, smoking.