Occurrence of polychlorobiphenyls in buffalo mozzarella cheese from Campania (Italy)


Buffalo milk and mozzarella cheese produced in the Caserta and Salerno areas in Campania region have been investigated on the presence and the levels of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs). Seven congeners, six non dioxin-like (NDL-PCBs nos. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180) and one dioxin-like (DL-PCB n. 118), were detected. PCBs were found at detectable levels in the 83% of the buffalo milk and in the 100% of the mozzarella cheese samples from Caserta; in those from Salerno the prevalence of contamination was 77% for milk and 73% for mozzarellas, respectively. The NDL-PCB content of mozzarellas collected in Caserta was significantly higher than that found in those from Salerno. The more diffuse congeners were PCB 28, 138 and 153 both in milk and in mozzarella cheese; PCB 118 contributed to the total PCB content for the 7% in milk and 2-3% in mozzarella cheese. On the basis of the Italian annual average consumption the contribution of mozzarella to the daily dietary intake of NDL-PCB can vary between 0.41 and 21.33 ng kg-1 bw, median value of 3.66 ng kg-1 bw. The levels of contamination in milk and dairies analyzed are similar or quite lower than those found in other European countries.