Turkish Journal of Chemistry

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In this study, it was aimed at investigating benzoic acid (BA) and sorbic acid (SoA) concentrations in tomato paste, pepper paste, ketchup, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce samples by a validated static headspace gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method. Salicylic acid (SalA) was used as internal standard and the measurements were conducted in the wide linear concentration ranges of BA and SoA which were 2.5–5000 and 12.5–5000, respectively. The limit of detections (LODs) were determined to be 1.5 and 4.5 mg/kg while the limit of quantifications (LOQs) were 2.5 and 12.5 mg/kg for BA and SoA, respectively. The average recovery% values of BA and SoA were found to be 98.5% and 98.7% in an open tomato paste sample while these values were 98.7% and 100.3% in a mayonnaise sample, respectively. Accuracy of the proposed method was confirmed by statistically (significance test) evaluating excellent recovery values. In real samples, while the results of the canned tomato pastes and industrial sauce samples were found suitable, BA and SoA ​​were determined in some tomato and pepper paste products sold under the traditional or homemade name although use of the preservatives in the pastes were prohibited. It is vital for public health to prevent adulteration in pastes which is indispensable for Turkish cuisine as well as prevalently consumed in the world. Therefore, the proposed method can be used in food control laboratories due to its reliability and consumption of much less toxic chemical reagents.


Benzoic acid, sorbic acid, sauces, tomato paste, food quality control, food safety

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