Food products containing simultaneously benzoate salts and ascorbic acid have a risk of benzene formation. This study has developed gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method GC-MS to determine the benzene content in foods containing benzoate salts and ascorbic acid simultaneously. The analyte sample was distilled to recover benzene and analyzed on GC-MS using a purge and trap injector, the analysis was controlled by benzened6 internal standard. The method has been validated for the parameters specified by AOAC. The method detection limit was 0.05 µg/kg, the method quantification limit was 0.15 µg/kg, the recovery ranged from 86.6 to 110.9%, Repeatability, RSDr in the range of 4.0 - 7.2%. The method has been applied to analyze the benzene content in 120 food samples including: soft drinks, fruit nectar, chili sauce and jam. Results of detecting benzene in 33 samples out of 120 surveyed samples, benzene content ranged from 0 to 109.7 µg/kg.
Benzene, purge and trap, GC-MS.
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