Determination of Phthalate Esters in Beverages and Milk Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
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Department of Environmental Science, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan
Quality Operations Laboratory, Institute of Microbiology, University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Lahore, Pakistan
Submission date: 2023-03-09
Final revision date: 2023-05-24
Acceptance date: 2023-06-16
Online publication date: 2023-10-27
Publication date: 2024-01-03
Corresponding author
Sofia Nosheen   

Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2024;33(1):837-846
Phthalates are commonly used plasticizers in the production of polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene terephthalate plastics. However, due to their extensive use, phthalate esters are considered as ubiquitous environmental pollutants. Beverages and packaged milk are susceptible to contamination by phthalate ester during packaging, transportation, and storage process. This research aimed to quantify the leaching of phthalate esters from commercial beverages and milk samples stored in plastic bottles. Ultrasound and vortex assisted dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction, followed by high performance liquid chromatography were used to analyze selected samples stored under various environmental conditions. The findings showed that beverage bottles stored outdoor exhibited the highest chance of phthalate leaching, followed by those stored at room temperature and 4ºC. The concentration of dibutyl phthalate increased from 3.45 μg/ml (detection on purchase day) to 4.22 μg/ml (detection on expiry day) average on the milk samples, while there was a significant increase in the concentration of diethyl phthalate upon expiray compared to its concentration in fresh milk samples (3.33-11.91 μg/ml) average on all samples. An average of 9.41 and 8.55 μg/ml, 11.4 and 9.23 μg/ml, 20.75 and 17.72 μg/ml of diethyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate were detected at 4ºC, room temperature and outdoor beverage samples after four months of their storage.This study suggests that the inappropriate storage conditions of milk and beverages enhances the leaching of phthalate esters from plastic matrix into the contained beverages and milk. Although the leaching is slow, continuous usage may pose health effect.
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