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Food contaminant

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**Types of Food Contaminants:**
– Agrochemicals: chemicals used in agriculture and animal husbandry for increasing crop yields, including pesticides, plant growth regulators, and veterinary drugs like nitrofuran and chloramphenicol.
– Environmental contaminants: substances present in the environment where food is produced, harvested, and transported, sourced from air, water, soil, packaging materials, and processing equipment.
– Naturally occurring toxins: mycotoxins, phytohemagglutinin, pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
– Common contaminants: cadmium, perchlorates, benzophenone, formaldehyde.
– Processing contaminants: formed during food processing, such as nitrosamines, PAH, histamine, acrylamide.

**Specific Cases of Contamination:**
– Instances of banned pesticides or carcinogens found in foods, like Lindane in tomatoes, methamidophos in fruits, and formaldehyde in Vietnamese dishes.
– Notable contamination incidents, such as pesticides in soft drinks in India and the melamine scandal in Chinese milk.

**Concerns Related to Food Contamination:**
– Hair in food: associated stigma, risks of choking and contamination, requirements for food industry workers to cover hair, objections in restaurants, and cultural beliefs.
– Emerging contaminants: newly discovered chemicals in foods like acrylamide, furan, benzene, and perchlorate, including the presence of microplastics in bottled water and infant feeding bottles.

**Detection Methods and Technologies:**
– Limitations of conventional testing methods, including complex sample preparation, long testing times, expensive instruments, and the need for professional operators.
– Rapid, novel, sensitive, and easy-to-use detection methods like colorimetric probes for cyanidin, immunoassays for lead quantification, and antibody-based assays for bacterial toxins.
– Microplastic contamination detection in food, particularly concerning bottle-fed babies and the release of microplastics from polypropylene feeding bottles.

**Regulations and Innovative Technologies:**
– Regulations and standards like Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005, focusing on food contamination testing.
– Innovative technologies for contaminant detection, such as chemodosimeters for cyanide detection, immunosensors for lead ions, and nanoparticles for selective recognition of contaminants in food products.

Food contaminant (Wikipedia)

A food contaminant is a harmful chemical or microorganism present in food, which can cause illness to the consumer.

Contaminated food

The impact of chemical contaminants on consumer health and well-being is often apparent only after many years of processing and prolonged exposure at low levels (e.g., cancer). Unlike food-borne pathogens, chemical contaminants present in foods are often unaffected by thermal processing. Chemical contaminants can be classified according to the source of contamination and the mechanism by which they enter the food product.

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