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Detection of cyclobutanones in non-irradiated food
Project Code: FS231029;
- Crews, C., Driffield, M. & Thomas, C. (2012) Analysis of 2-alkylcyclobutanones for detection of food irradiation: current status, needs and prospects, doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2011.11.006
Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ
Food irradiation is a processing technique that exposes food to high energy ionising radiation to improve shelf life and/or food quality. To support enforcement of legislation there is a need for reliable analytical methods capable of detecting marker compounds that are specific to the irradiation process, such as the 2-alkylcyclobutanones (2-ACBs).
The literature review concluded that a significant amount of work has been reported describing the detection of 2-ACBs in a variety of irradiated foods and a number of inter-laboratory trials have been carried out successfully. There is much scope for improving sensitivity of the methods so that lower levels of 2-ACBS can be detected.
Knowledge is lacking regarding the true performance of the methods currently used, the optimum procedures for separating 2-ACBs from fat, the limits of detection of irradiated ingredients in foods, the relative formation rates of 2-ACBs from fatty acids in different parts of triacylglycerols, the longevity of 2-ACBs on storage, their fate on food processing, and the possible presence of 2-ACBs in non-irradiated foods.
Studies were also carried out on a number of non-irradiation based processing techniques. No peaks attributed to 2-DCB were detected in any of the samples. This is not a surprising result as there have been no previous reports of 2-ACBs formed from non-irradiation based processing techniques, to the authors’ knowledge.
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