This European Standard specifies a method for the determination of 4 of the 16 EU priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), identified as target PAHs. They are benz[a]anthracene (BaA), benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbF) and chrysene (CHR). The method allows their quantification in the presence of the other 12 EU priority PAHs (benzo[j]fluoranthene (BjF), cyclopenta[cd]pyrene (CPP), benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkF), dibenz[a,h]anthracene (DhA), benzo[c]fluorene (BcL), dibenzo[a,e]pyrene (DeP), benzo[ghi]perylene (BgP), dibenzo[a,h]pyrene (DhP), dibenzo[a,i]pyrene (DiP), dibenzo[a,l]pyrene (DlP), indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene (IcP), 5-methylchrysene (5MC)) in extruded wheat flour, smoked fish, dry infant formula, sausage meat, freeze-dried mussels, edible oil and wheat flour, by gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC-MS). The extraction of PAHs from solid samples is performed by pressurized liquid extraction (PLE). Soxhlet extraction was applied by some participants in the validation study by collaborative trial as alternative to PLE. The sample cleanup is performed by applying the following techniques in the reported sequence: size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and solid phase extraction (SPE).
This method complies with the performance characteristics specified in Commission Regulation (EU) No 836/2011 (see ). In particular the specifications for the limit of detection (LOD) and of the limit of quantification (LOQ) (0,30 µg/kg and 0,90 µg/kg respectively) were met.
The method has been validated in an interlaboratory study via the analysis of both naturally contaminated and spiked samples, ranging from 0,5 µg/kg to 11,9 µg/kg. However, linearity of the instrument response was proven for the concentration range 0,5 µg/kg to 20 µg/kg.
For the determination of PAHs in edible fats and oils, two other CEN standards are also available, EN ISO 22959 and EN ISO 15753, for more information see  and .