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Processing Contaminants: Benzene

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-12-378612-8.00207-9
  • Benzene
  • Cancer
  • Chemical Hazards
  • Environmental Contaminant
  • Formation
  • Gc/Ms
  • Headspace
  • Processing Contaminant
  • Process-Induced Changes
  • Roasting
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Abstract Benzene is an organic chemical compound that has the molecular formula C6H6. Benzene is a chemical that is both anthropogenically produced (exhaust from motor vehicles; handling of gasoline, tobacco smoke, wood smoke; and from industrial emissions) and naturally occurring (e.g., in forest fires and volcanic emissions). Environmental contamination and process-induced contamination are the most important sources of benzene in foods. Nonetheless, levels of benzene in food are generally low. Benzene concentrations in food seldom exceed low parts per billion (ppb) (microgram per kilogram or microgram per liter) levels. The available data suggest that dietary exposure to benzene, and the resultant health risks, are negligible in comparison with the overall exposure from environmental sources.

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