Detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in raw menhaden fish oil using fluorescence spectroscopy: Method development

Edwin A Pena, Lauren M Ridley, Wyatt R Murphy, John R Sowa, Carolyn S Bentivegna
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2015, 34 (9): 1946-58
Raw menhaden fish oil was developed for biomonitoring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using fluorescence spectroscopy. Menhaden (Genus Brevoortia) were collected in 2010 and/or 2011 from Delaware Bay, New Jersey, USA; James River, Virginia, USA; Vermillion Bay, Louisiana, USA (VBLA); and Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA (BBLA). Barataria Bay, Louisiana received heavy oiling from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Method development included determining optimal wavelengths for PAH detection, fish oil matrix interferences, and influence of solvent concentration on extraction. Results showed that some fish oils contained high molecular weight PAH-like compounds in addition to other fluorescent compounds such as albumin and vitamin A and vitamin E. None of these naturally occurring compounds interfered with detection of high molecular weight PAHs. However, data suggested that the lipid component of fish oil was altering fluorescence spectra by supporting the formation of PAH excimers. For example, the most intense excitation wavelength for hydroxypyrene shifted from Ex285/Em430 to Ex340/Em430. Comparison of Deepwater Horizon crude oil and fish oil spectra indicated that some fish oils contained crude oil-like PAHs. Using wavelengths of Ex360/Em430, fish oil concentrations were calculated as 3.92 μg/g, 0.61 μg/g, and 0.14 μg/g for a Delaware Bay sample, BBLA 2011, and VBLA 2011, respectively. Overall, these results supported using menhaden fish oil to track PAH exposures spatially and temporally.

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