Seafood consumption is a major route for human exposure to environmental contaminants of emerging concern (CeCs). However, toxicological information about the presence of CeCs in seafood is still insufficient, especially considering the effect of cooking procedures on contaminant levels. This study is one among a few who evaluated the effect of steaming on the levels of different CeCs (toxic elements, PFCs, PAHs, musk fragrances and UV-filters) in commercially relevant seafood in Europe, and estimate the potential risks associated with its consumption for consumers. In most cases, an increase in contaminant levels was observed after steaming, though varying according to contaminant and seafood species (e.g. iAs, perfluorobutanoate, dibenzo(ah)anthracene in Mytilus edulis, HHCB-Lactone in Solea sp., 2-Ethylhexyl salicylate in Lophius piscatorius). Furthermore, the increase in some CeCs, like Pb, MeHg, iAs, Cd and carcinogenic PAHs, in seafood after steaming reveals that adverse health effects can never be excluded, regardless contaminants concentration. However, the risk of adverse effects can vary. The drastic changes induced by steaming suggest that the effect of cooking should be integrated in food risk assessment, as well as accounted in CeCs regulations and recommendations issued by food safety authorities, in order to avoid over/underestimation of risks for consumer health.
- Toxic elements
- Musk fragrances and UV-filters