Pp. 314-359 (46)
Zoyne Pedrero Zayas
Mercury (Hg) pollution is an acknowledged major environmental problem.
Considering its extreme toxicity, Hg has recently been included in the top ten list of
chemicals of major public health concern according to the World Health Organization.
Once released into the environment, it is transformed in aquatic ecosystems by
microorganisms into the neurotoxic methylmercury. The hazardous effect is then
biomagnified through the trophic/food chain. Diet is considered the main exposure
pathway of Hg in humans. Therefore, safety values have been established by food
safety authorities in order to protect consumers. Seafood, followed by rice, is the
primary source of Hg in the human diet. A variety of analytical methodologies are
available for the analysis of Hg and its species in food. This chapter presents recent
advances in the determination of Hg in foodstuffs. Special attention is given to
innovative Hg (species) extraction and preconcentration systems assisted by
nanoparticles. Non-chromatographic approaches, as an alternative to classical
chromatographic approaches used for speciation are detailed. The potential and
limitations of Hg isotopic analysis in food are also discussed.
Certified reference materials, Diet, Fish, Food, GC, HPLC, ICP-MS,
Isotopic dilution analysis, Isotopic fractionation, MC-ICP-MS, Methylmercury,
Mercury, Mercury species, Non-chromatographic methods, Rice, Speciation.
CNRS/UNIV PAU & PAYS ADOUR, Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physicochimie pour l’Environnement et les Matériaux, UMR 5254, 64000, Pau, France.