Chlorine sanitizers used in washing fresh and fresh-cut produce can lead to generation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) that are harmful to human health. Monitoring of DBPs is necessary to protect food safety but comprehensive analytical methods have been lacking.

In a recent paper authored by Wan-Ning Lee et al, published in Food Chemistry ((2018) 256 319-326) UCT’s Enviro-Clean® 521 solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridges were used to analyze 40 conventional and emerging DBPs in fresh cut produce wash water by modified EPA methods. The authors reported that good recoveries (60–130%) were achieved for most DBPs in deionized water and in lettuce, strawberry and cabbage wash water. The method detection limits are in the range of 0.06–0.58 μg/L for most DBPs and 10–24 ng/L for nitrosamines in produce wash water.

The results revealed the formation of many DBPs when produce is washed with chlorine. The optimized analytical methods by this study effectively reduce matrix interference and can serve as useful tools for future research on food DBPs. This study shows that when food chemists working in the area of public protection require SPE columns, UCT is their first choice. For more information regarding UCT sorbents, methods, and applications please go to www.unitedchem.com.