On December 29, 2015 the peer-reviewed journal Trends in Food Science & Technology published a review article on chemical food contamination. Cristina Nerín and colleagues from the University of Zaragoza, Spain highlight seven stages through the food supply chain that may be a source of chemical contaminants: (1) Raw food may contain unwanted residues of fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and heavy metals from the environment. (2) Transportation of raw food may lead to chemical contamination, e.g. due to the use of insufficiently cleaned containers or ineffective barrier materials. (3) Residues of cleaning and disinfection agents used during processing may enter the food. (4) A diverse range of unwanted by-products is generated during heat-treatment of different foods. (5) Different packaging materials (e.g. cans, lids of glass jars, paper and board, adhesives, and printing inks) release known and unknown chemicals into the food. (6) Already packaged food may be contaminated during transportation due to the use of unsuitable barrier materials. (7) Inappropriate storage conditions may enhance the chemical contamination of food. The authors conclude that chemical analyses during food processing are important to assure food safety for consumers.


Nerín, C. et al. (2016). “Food contamination during food process.Trends in Food Science & Technology (available online December 29, 2015).