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Finding the tiny plastic needle in the haystack: how field flow fractionation can help to analyze nanoplastics in food
Loeschner, K.; Vidmar, J.; Hartmann, N.B.; Bienfait, A.M.; Velimirovic, M. (2023). Finding the tiny plastic needle in the haystack: how field flow fractionation can help to analyze nanoplastics in food. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 415(1): 7-16.
In: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Springer: Heidelberg. ISSN 1618-2642; e-ISSN 1618-2650, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Nanoplastics; Foods/beverages; Field flow fractionation; Online detectors; Spectrometry; Microscopy

Authors  Top 
  • Loeschner, K.
  • Vidmar, J.
  • Hartmann, N.B.
  • Bienfait, A.M.
  • Velimirovic, M., more

    While the exact health risks associated with nanoplastics are currently the focus of intense research, there is no doubt that humans are exposed to nanoplastics and that food could be a major source of exposure. Nanoplastics are released from plastic materials and articles used during food production, processing, storage, preparation, and serving. They are also likely to enter the food chain via contaminated water, air, and soil. However, very limited exposure data for risk assessment exists so far due to the lack of suitable analytical methods. Nanoplastic detection in food poses a great analytical challenge due to the complexity of plastics and food matrices as well as the small size and expectedly low concentration of the plastic particles. Multidetector field flow fractionation has emerged as a valuable analytical technique for nanoparticle separation over the last decades, and the first studies using the technique for analyzing nanoplastics in complex matrices are emerging. In combination with online detectors and offline analysis, multidetector field flow fractionation is a powerful platform for advanced characterization of nanoplastics in food by reducing sample complexity, which otherwise hampers the full potential of most analytical techniques. The focus of this article is to present the current state of the art of multidetector field flow fractionation for nanoplastic analysis and to discuss future trends and needs aiming at the analysis of nanoplastics in food.

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