Effects of steaming on contaminants of emerging concern levels in seafood

Vera Barbosa, Ana Luísa Maulvault, Ricardo N. Alves, Christian Kwadijk, Michiel Kotterman, Alice Tediosi, Margarita Fernández-Tejedor, Jens J. Sloth, Kit Granby, Rie R. Rasmussen, Johan Robbens, Bavo De Witte, Laura Trabalón, José O. Fernandes, Sara C. Cunha, António Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-504
Number of pages15
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
StatePublished - May 19 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under the ECsafeSEAFOOD project (grant agreement n° 311820). The Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) supported the contracts of AM and SCC in the framework of the IF2014 program (IF/00253/2014) and IF2015 program (IF/01616/2015), respectively, as well as the PhD Grant of ALM (SFRH/BD/103569/2014).


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