Shimadzu Review Vol.77[3・4](2020)
Food Safety and Food Health


Techniques for Analyzing Microplastics that Threaten Food Safety

by Risa Fuji1

Shimadzu Review 77[3・4] (2021.3)


The pollution of rivers and oceans with microplastics is increasing on a global scale and raising concerns about the impact of microplastics on living organisms. In recent years, active efforts are being made through research and monitor-ing surveys to obtain scientific knowledge on the state of microplastic distribution in various countries around the world. One of the most basic pieces of information sought when analyzing microplastics is the type of microplastic, information that is normally obtained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Infrared spectra obtained by FTIR are compared against a reference database, but microplastics often undergo degradation in the natural environment that causes erroneous qualitative results when microplastic spectra are compared against a standard database. An FTIR-based Plastic Analyzer system that specializes in analyzing degraded plastics was developed to resolve this problem. This article describes the sequence of steps involved in microplastics analysis, provides example analyses of microplastics recovered from rivers and marine organisms, and explains how the Plastic Analyzer is used.

1Global Application Development Center, Analytical & Measuring Instruments Division, Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan

*The information contained in Shimadzu Review has not been modified since the original publication date. Please be aware that in some cases, products mentioned within the articles are no longer available.