Reduction of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon levels in dried red peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) using heat pump-assisted drying

Moon Jung Hwang, Se Jin Kang, Hoe Sung Kim, Kwang Won Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are primarily produced during the incomplete combustion of organic matter. PAHs are suspected endocrine disruptors and possible carcinogenic materials. The major sources of human exposure to PAHs are inhaled fumes and food. The aim of this study was to provide an alternative drying method to mitigate PAH formation in dried red peppers. We prepared dried red pepper samples using air-drying and heat pump-assisted drying methods, and measured the concentrations of four PAHs (PAH4), benzo[a] anthracene (B[a]A), chrysene (CHR), benzo[b]fluoranthene (B[b]F), and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), in the resulting pepper samples. The PAH concentrations ranged from 3.61 to 18.0 µg/kg and from 2.22 to 8.35 µg/kg in the air-dried and heat pump-dried pepper samples, respectively. Overall, the results have shown that dried peppers contain PAH4, that the drying conditions for these contaminants should be optimized for mitigating the PAH formation in dried red peppers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124977
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1



  • Benzo[a]pyrene
  • Drying conditions
  • Mitigation
  • Moisture content
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Red pepper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science

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