This study provides a first insight on the chemical characterization and quantification of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and dissolved Ag in processed canned seafood products, where food-grade edible silver (E174) is not intentionally added nor is the nanoparticle contained in the food contact material. The aim was to evaluate the bioaccumulation potential of AgNPs and to contribute to the assessment of AgNPs and ionic Ag human dietary intake from processed seafood. It is known how seafood, and in particular pelagic fish, is a precious nutritional source of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, and different micronutrients. Nevertheless, it may cause possible health problems due to the intake of toxic compounds coming from environmental pollution. Among emerging contaminants, AgNPs are widely applied in several fields such as biomedicine, pharmaceutical, food industry, health care, drug-gene delivery, environmental study, water treatments, and many others, although its primary application is in accordance with its antimicrobial property. As a consequence, AgNPs are discharged into the aquatic environment, where the colloidal stability of these NPs is altered by chemical and physical environmental parameters. Its toxicity was demonstrated in in-vitro and in-vivo studies, although some findings are controversial because toxicity depends by several factors such as size, concentration, chemical composition, surface charge, Ag+ ions released, and hydrophobicity. The new emerging technique called single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) was applied, which allows the determination of nanoparticle number-based concentration and size distribution, as well as the dissolved element. Our findings highlighted comparable mean sizes across all species analysed, although AgNPs concentrations partly follow a trophic level-dependent trend. The low mean size detected could be of human health concern, since, smaller is the diameter higher is the toxicity. Dietary intake from a meal calculated for adults and children seems to be very low. Although seafood consumption represents only a small part of the human total diet, our findings represent a first important step to understand the AgNPs dietary exposure of the human population. Further studies are needed to characterize and quantify AgNPs in a large number of food items, both processing and not, and where AgNPs are added at the industrial level. They will provide a realistic exposure assessment, useful to understand if AgNPs toxicity levels observed in literature are close to those estimable through food consumption and implement data useful for risk assessors in developing AgNPs provisional tolerable daily intake.

Chemical Characterization and Quantification of Silver Nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) and Dissolved Ag in Seafood by Single Particle ICP-MS: Assessment of Dietary Exposure

Grasso, Alfina
Primo
;
Ferrante, Margherita
Secondo
;
Arena, Giovanni;Salemi, Rossella;Zuccarello, Pietro;Fiore, Maria;Copat, Chiara
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

This study provides a first insight on the chemical characterization and quantification of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and dissolved Ag in processed canned seafood products, where food-grade edible silver (E174) is not intentionally added nor is the nanoparticle contained in the food contact material. The aim was to evaluate the bioaccumulation potential of AgNPs and to contribute to the assessment of AgNPs and ionic Ag human dietary intake from processed seafood. It is known how seafood, and in particular pelagic fish, is a precious nutritional source of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, and different micronutrients. Nevertheless, it may cause possible health problems due to the intake of toxic compounds coming from environmental pollution. Among emerging contaminants, AgNPs are widely applied in several fields such as biomedicine, pharmaceutical, food industry, health care, drug-gene delivery, environmental study, water treatments, and many others, although its primary application is in accordance with its antimicrobial property. As a consequence, AgNPs are discharged into the aquatic environment, where the colloidal stability of these NPs is altered by chemical and physical environmental parameters. Its toxicity was demonstrated in in-vitro and in-vivo studies, although some findings are controversial because toxicity depends by several factors such as size, concentration, chemical composition, surface charge, Ag+ ions released, and hydrophobicity. The new emerging technique called single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) was applied, which allows the determination of nanoparticle number-based concentration and size distribution, as well as the dissolved element. Our findings highlighted comparable mean sizes across all species analysed, although AgNPs concentrations partly follow a trophic level-dependent trend. The low mean size detected could be of human health concern, since, smaller is the diameter higher is the toxicity. Dietary intake from a meal calculated for adults and children seems to be very low. Although seafood consumption represents only a small part of the human total diet, our findings represent a first important step to understand the AgNPs dietary exposure of the human population. Further studies are needed to characterize and quantify AgNPs in a large number of food items, both processing and not, and where AgNPs are added at the industrial level. They will provide a realistic exposure assessment, useful to understand if AgNPs toxicity levels observed in literature are close to those estimable through food consumption and implement data useful for risk assessors in developing AgNPs provisional tolerable daily intake.
Ag
dietary intake
processed food
seafood
spICP-MS
Dietary Exposure
Humans
Seafood
Silver
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/542459
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