Food Safety


Research title:


Tutor: Prof. Luca Chiesa


Contact details

Luca Chiesa

University of Milan-Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety 

Lab. Food Safety

Via Celoria 10-20133 Milano

Phone ++39-0250317931-50317930

Fax ++39-02 503.17941

Mobile ++39345-4340036

email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


State of the art


The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was endorsed by 131 nations in 2004 to identify, regulate and possibly eliminate persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances. Such substances include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlordiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), which are highly accumulative and can cause adverse health effects in fish, wildlife, and humans (Kujawski et al,2012, European Food Research and Technology, 234, 223–230). More recently, brominated flame retardants and certain perfluorinated chemicals have recently emerged as new contaminants of concern. Governments worldwide are currently evaluating all commercial chemicals, with the goal to identify substances that can biomagnify in food chains and achieve harmful concentrations in high-trophic level organisms including human beings. Dietary accumulation or biomagnification can cause additional bioaccumulation, resulting in an increase in chemical concentration with increasing trophic level in food webs. As an example, the waters of estuaries, coastal areas and "closed" seas as the Mediterranean Sea are often characterized by high concentrations of variably toxic POPs among which are commonly found pesticides and PCBs (Bryan, 1976; Ghidini et al., 2000; Ansari et al., 2004). The widespread use and environmental release of POPs through disposal and spillage have resulted in the accumulation of these toxicants in aquatic organisms through different mechanisms (Miranda et al., 2008): bioconcentration by the direct uptake from water through gills and skin, particle ingestion, or biomagnification throughout the consumption of contaminated preys.




Aims of the project 


Therefore, the purpose of this project will led to evaluate the presence of POPs in food of animal origin with particular attention toward the emerging pollutants from different food chains (e.g. meat, milk, honey and fish) in order to evaluate the accumulation of these toxic compounds. Particular attention will be also paid to the evaluation of the influence of rearing on the presence of POPs in food (organic food and conventional food). The obtained data will help to clarify the current pollution situation in different food products related to the different rearing conditions. It represents a pivotal step considering the central objective of food safety policy that aims to achieve the highest levels of consumer health protection. The methods used for extraction and analysis of these compounds will involve the optimization of extraction methods in combination with different clean-up strategies and GC tandem mass spectrometry or LC tandem mass spectrometry.


Recent publications of the tutor in the field 

1. Chiesa, L.M.Nobile, M.Panseri, S. Biolatti, B.Cannizzo, F.T.Pavlovic, R.Arioli, F. Bovine teeth as a novel matrix for the control of the food chain: liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry detection of treatments with prednisolone, dexamethasone, estradiol, nandrolone and seven β2-agonists (2017).  Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment 34, 1, 2017, 40-48

2. Chiesa, L.M.Pasquale, E.Panseri, S.Britti, D.Malandra, R.Villa, R.Arioli, F. Endogenous level of acetic acid in yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares): a pilot study about a possible controversy on its residue nature  (2017). Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment 21, 1-9 

3. L.M. Chiesa, G.F. Labella, A. Giorgi, S. Panseri, R. Pavlovic, S. Bonacci, F. Arioli. The occurrence of pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in Italian organic honeys from different productive areas in relation to potential environmental pollution (2016). Chemosphere 154, 482-490

4. L.M. Chiesa, G.F. Labella, S. Panseri, R. Pavlovic, S. Bonacci , F. Arioli. Distribution of persistent organic pollutants (POPS) IN wild Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) from different FAO capture zones (2016). Chemosphere 153, 162-169

5.Panseri, Giorgi A, Catalano A,F. Arioli, A.Procopio, D. Britti , L.M..Chiesa Occurrence of pesticide residues in italian honey from different areas in relation to its potential contamination sources Food Control 38 (2014) 150-156