Impact of artificial digestion on the sizes and shapes of microplastic particles.

Impact of artificial digestion on the sizes and shapes of microplastic particles. Current analyses show a widespread occurrence of microplastic particles in food products and raise the question of potential risks to human health. Plastic particles are widely considered to be inert due to their low chemical reactivity and therefore supposed to pose, if at all only minor hazards. However, variable physicochemical conditions during the passage of the gastrointestinal tract gain strong importance, as they may affect particle characteristics. This study aims to analyze the impact of the gastrointestinal passage on the physicochemical particle characteristics of the five most produced and thus environmentally relevant plastic materials polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate and polystyrene. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subsequent image analysis were employed to characterize microplastic particles. Our results demonstrate a high resistance of all plastic particles to the artificial digestive juices. The present results underline that the main stages of the human gastrointestinal tract do not decompose the particles. This allows a direct correlation between the physicochemical particle characteristics before and after digestion. Special attention must be paid to the adsorption of organic compounds like proteins, mucins and lipids on plastic particles since it could lead to misinterpretations of particle sizes and shapes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association Pubmed

Impact of artificial digestion on the sizes and shapes of microplastic particles.

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, Volume 135: 1 – Dec 29, 2019
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Impact of artificial digestion on the sizes and shapes of microplastic particles.

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, Volume 135: 1 – Dec 29, 2019

Abstract

Current analyses show a widespread occurrence of microplastic particles in food products and raise the question of potential risks to human health. Plastic particles are widely considered to be inert due to their low chemical reactivity and therefore supposed to pose, if at all only minor hazards. However, variable physicochemical conditions during the passage of the gastrointestinal tract gain strong importance, as they may affect particle characteristics. This study aims to analyze the impact of the gastrointestinal passage on the physicochemical particle characteristics of the five most produced and thus environmentally relevant plastic materials polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate and polystyrene. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subsequent image analysis were employed to characterize microplastic particles. Our results demonstrate a high resistance of all plastic particles to the artificial digestive juices. The present results underline that the main stages of the human gastrointestinal tract do not decompose the particles. This allows a direct correlation between the physicochemical particle characteristics before and after digestion. Special attention must be paid to the adsorption of organic compounds like proteins, mucins and lipids on plastic particles since it could lead to misinterpretations of particle sizes and shapes.
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DOI
10.1016/j.fct.2019.111010

Abstract

Current analyses show a widespread occurrence of microplastic particles in food products and raise the question of potential risks to human health. Plastic particles are widely considered to be inert due to their low chemical reactivity and therefore supposed to pose, if at all only minor hazards. However, variable physicochemical conditions during the passage of the gastrointestinal tract gain strong importance, as they may affect particle characteristics. This study aims to analyze the impact of the gastrointestinal passage on the physicochemical particle characteristics of the five most produced and thus environmentally relevant plastic materials polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate and polystyrene. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subsequent image analysis were employed to characterize microplastic particles. Our results demonstrate a high resistance of all plastic particles to the artificial digestive juices. The present results underline that the main stages of the human gastrointestinal tract do not decompose the particles. This allows a direct correlation between the physicochemical particle characteristics before and after digestion. Special attention must be paid to the adsorption of organic compounds like proteins, mucins and lipids on plastic particles since it could lead to misinterpretations of particle sizes and shapes.

Journal

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research AssociationPubmed

Published: Dec 29, 2019

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