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Microplastics in Food: A Review on Analytical Methods and Challenges

Authors
  • Kwon, Jung-Hwan1
  • Kim, Jin-Woo1
  • Pham, Thanh Dat1
  • Tarafdar, Abhrajyoti1
  • Hong, Soonki2
  • Chun, Sa-Ho2
  • Lee, Sang-Hwa2
  • Kang, Da-Young2
  • Kim, Ju-Yang3
  • Kim, Su-Bin3
  • Jung, Jaehak3
  • 1 (A.T.)
  • 2 (D.-Y.K.)
  • 3 (J.J.)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Sep 15, 2020
Volume
17
Issue
18
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17186710
PMID: 32942613
PMCID: PMC7559051
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Human exposure to microplastics contained in food has become a significant concern owing to the increasing accumulation of microplastics in the environment. In this paper, we summarize the presence of microplastics in food and the analytical methods used for isolation and identification of microplastics. Although a large number of studies on seafood such as fish and shellfish exist, estimating the overall human exposure to microplastics via food consumption is difficult owing to the lack of studies on other food items. Analytical methods still need to be optimized for appropriate recovery of microplastics in various food matrices, rendering a quantitative comparison of different studies challenging. In addition, microplastics could be added or removed from ingredients during processing or cooking. Thus, research on processed food is crucial to estimate the contribution of food to overall human microplastic consumption and to mitigate this exposure in the future.

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