Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Traditional Dry Cured Smoked Ham Slavonska Šunka
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Slavonska šunka is a traditional dry-cured smoked ham. Smoking with open fire commonly results in the accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) molecules in tissues. The objective of this research was to assess the types and concentrations of 16 PAHs in 30 samples of traditional dry-cured smoked ham Slavonska šunka. In general, all samples had high values of anthracene while higher levels of acenaphthylene were present in some samples. In sample SS1, the maximal value for anthracene reached 228.03 µg/kg, while sample SS28 had the lowest value of this PAH—33.38 µg/kg. SS1 had increased values for several other PAHs: benzo[a]anthracene (54.03 µg/kg), acenaphtene (19.90 µg/kg) and phenanthrene (27.11 µg/kg). Cancerogenic benzo[a]pyrene content was below the limit of quantification for all samples. PAH4 (benzo[a]anthracene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene) concentrations were above legislative recommendation (>30 µg/kg) in seven samples. All the samples of Slavonska šunka had significant PAH16 concentrations, with the lowest value of 61.30 µg/kg (SS28) and the highest 462.83 µg/kg (SS1). The highest concentrations of PAHs were determined in the Vukovar–Srijem county samples. Another conclusion from this research is that samples smoked with elm tree showed high PAH concentrations in comparison to the ones smoked with beech and hornbeam.