• Screening of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Microalgae Food Supplements

      Martín-Girela, Isabel; Albero, Beatriz; Tiwari, Brijesh K.; Miguel, Esther; Aznar, Ramón; European Union; EAPA_338/2016 (MDPI AG, 2020-05-20)
      The frenetic lifestyle in the developed countries has driven us to be deficient in some nutrients, which may be overcome by supplements. Microalgae, like spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) and chlorella (Chlorella ssp.) are widely used as supplements due to their high contents of macroand micronutrients. Chlorella and spirulina can be grown naturally in a range of water bodies, showing their high adaptability to harsh environments. They are mainly produced in countries with poor water quality and sometimes inexistent water legislation, which can be a vector of micropollutant introduction into the food chain. Thus, a method for the simultaneous determination of 31 emerging contaminants commonly found as micropollutants in freshwater (pharmaceutical and personal care products, hormones, flame retardants and biocides) in two microalgae is presented. Target contaminants were extracted from the microalgae employing ultrasound-assisted matrix solid-phase dispersion followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The method was validated for chlorella and spirulina with recoveries ranging from 70% to 111% at concentrations of 25 and 100 ng·g −1 , and good linearity in the range from 5 to 400 ng·g −1 with limits of detection below 2.5 ng·g −1 , in both microalgae. The method validated was applied to a range of microalgae supplement foods and the results proved that the compounds studied were below limits of detection.