Abstract Due to the low concentration at which PAHs are usually present in foods and their widespread presence in the environment, their analytical determination is challenging. Depending also on matrix complexity, traditional sample preparation is usually based on tedious and time-consuming procedures involving an extraction step (mainly saponification followed by liquid-liquid extraction, liquid- liquid partition or Soxhlet extraction) followed by one or more purification steps (on packed columns, thin layer chromatography and gel permeation chromatography). In recent years a number of innovative sample preparation techniques aiming at minimising sample manipulation and solvent consumption have been successfully introduced for PAH analysis. Reversed phase HPLC followed by spectrofluorometric detection and GC coupled to MS represent the preferred choice for PAH determination. Coupled techniques involving a first pre-separation on silica LC column, surely represent a convenient alternative to traditional sample preparation.
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