Nitrosamins and ATNC
Nitroso compounds are substances containing in its molecule bounded nitroso group (-NO). regarding the element where the group is bound, it can be divided into C-, N-, S- a O-nitroso compounds. Most significant nitroso compounds in food industry are N-nitroso compounds, specifically N-nitrosamines.
In the group of volatile compounds may be listed compounds with short-hydrocarbon chains or simple non-substituated heterocycles, e.g., N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Many studies confirmed the fact that nitrosamines are greatly carcinogenic and mutagen. Its presence was confirmed in grilled meat, cosmetics, printing and tattooing inks, rubber products, dried fish, smoked meat, cigarette smoke and finally in malt and beer.
Non-volatile N-nitrosamines are determined together with volatile N-nitrosamines as an Apparent Sum of all N-nitroso Compounds (ATNC), where total sum is concentrations of N-nitroso group in µg (N-NO)/l or kg.
The source of N-nitrosamines in beer can be all entering raw materials. In malt N-nitrosamine are formed by reaction of secondary and tertial amino groups with nitrogen oxides during kilning of germinated barley. Another cause of N-nitrosamine in beer is bacterial contamination of beer or its intermediates.
RIBM determines volatile N-nitrosamines, single or total, in malt and beer, rubber products, inks, air, plastic materials, smoked meat and other foodstuffs.
RIBM also performs, as one of few laboratories in Europe, the analysis of ATNC in beer.
The analyses are performed in Analytical laboratory in Pivovarský ústav Praha (Brewing Institute Prague).