Comparative studies on Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS) in some edible oil (shea butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil) sold in Nigeria
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ever-present lipophilic substances, having varying levels of concentration in edible oils. Shea butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil are used in Africa as component of traditional ointment. The study evaluated the concentration of polyaromatic hydrocarbons in Shea butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil using gas chromatography with flame ionization detector. The polyaromatic hydrocarbons identified and quantified are: napthalene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenapthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene for Shea butter samples; napthalene, acenaphthene, phenanthrene, anthracene, pyrene for coconut oil samples while palm kernel oil samples have napthalene, acenaphthene, acenaphthylene,fluorene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b)fluoranthene and benzo(k)fluoranthene, The concentration of the sum of PAHs of Shea butter ranged from 7.63 - 44.71 ppm, coconut oil samples 7.81 - 19.24 ppm and palm kernel oil samples 25.09 - 71.55 ppm. Shea butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil samples have concentration of benzo(a)pyrene above the set maximum permissible limit as revealed in the study. It is important that further research on the reduction and/or elimination of PAHs in Shea butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil be developed.