Stuffed with microplastics: Microplastic occurrence in traditional stuffed mussels sold in the Turkish market
Date of publication 3 August 2020
Authors Gündogdu, Sedat; Çevik, Cem; Atas, Nihan Temiz.
Sources Food Bioscience : 100715.
Microplastic (MP) pollution is a ubiquitous and persistent pollution problem in the marine environment that is threatening marine life. In this study, the presence of MP in stuffed mussels sold in 5 Turkish cities was examined. The microplastic content of ready-to-eat stuffed mussels purchased from 41 different vendors in 5 different cities was studied using chemical digestion, density separation, and µ-Raman spectroscopy. The average amount of MP in the stuffed mussels was determined as 0.6±0.1 (median=0.6; IQR=0.7) MP mussel–1. Among the 5 cities, the highest number of MP was found in Istanbul with 0.9±0.1 MP mussel–1, while the lowest number was found in Bodrum with 0.3±0.1 MP mussel–1. The MP were identified as fiber type 62.7% and fragment type 37.3%. According to the µ-Raman analysis, the largest amounts of identified polymer types were polyethylene 35% and polypropylene 15%. Stuffed mussels purchased from 92% of the vendors contained MP. If an average consumer eats 100 g of stuffed mussels/portion, it is estimated that there is a risk of consuming 5.8 MP/portion. MP pollution is a serious problem in seafood. This study showed that stuffed mussels could be one way in which humans are exposed to MP. Due to the possible increase of MP load in the over-processing of seafood products, the results suggested that the quantification of MP should also be included as a component of food security systems.