Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemical contaminants formed as a result of the incomplete combustion of organic products.


These contaminants are monitored and regulated by numerous regulations and more recently by COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2015/1933 of 27 October 2015 which amends Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 concerning the maximum levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in cocoa fibre, banana chips, food supplements, dried herbs and dried spices.


The main PAHs are:

  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Benz(a)anthracene
  • Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene
  • Benzo(b)fluoranthene
  • Benzo(j)floranthene
  • Benzo(k)fluoranthene
  • Indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene
  • Benzo(g,h,i,)perylene
  • Chrysene
  • Cyclopenta(c,d)pyrene
  • Dibenzo(a,e)pyrene
  • Dibenzo(a,h)pyrene
  • Dibenzo(a,i)pyrene
  • Dibenzo(a,l)pyrene
  • 5 methylchrysene


CARSO analyses all PAHs, in all food products, in its high-performance “Contaminants” laboratory.