MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Food Chemical Safety - inorganic, organic contaminants, nanoparticles


Ecotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Janez Ščančar
prof. dr. Ester Heath
prof. dr. Radmila Milačič
prof. dr. Milena Horvat
doc. dr. Tea Zuliani
doc. dr. Tina Kosjek


Educational outcomes: students will gain new knowledge on chemical food safety and deepen their knowledge on modern approaches in analysis, investigations and assurance of chemical food safety. In addition they will gain knowledge in the determination and importance of organic pollutants in food.

Results: All the above will enable students to understand the complex processes of food contaminants deriving from food production, processing and packaging.


The students will obtain the information in relation to different chemical types of pollutants in food, thus the course comprises of topics on inorganic and organic pollutants, and nanoparticles, which are a group of new emerging contaminants. They will be introduced to the relevant international legislation from the field of chemical contaminants in food.
During the course students will also be introduced to analytical methods used to determine chemical contaminants in food and to the metrological principles, which ensure the traceable and comparable results of measurements when different analytical methods are applied.

Inorganic pollutants:
Introduction with basis of food chemical safety; essential (for example Zn, Cu, Fe, Se) and toxic (like Hg, Pb, Cd, As, Sn) trace elements in food, total concentration versus chemical speciation, natural sources and contamination of food with inorganic contaminants
Food sampling and analysis of inorganic contaminants in food;
Instrumental analytical techniques for the determination of total concentration and chemical species of trace elements in food samples (atomic optical, mass spectrometric and hyphenated techniques), quality control and quality assurance of measurements
Modern analytical approaches in investigations of chemical food safety (like isotopic ratio measurements);
Element by element presentation: the biological role of a given trace element in food for health.

Organic pollutants:
Most common groups of organic pollutants in food and their origin; Characterization of organic pollutants originating from contaminated soil, water or air; Characterization of organic pollutants that enter the food during its production, processing and packaging; Persistent and emerging organic pollutants;
Sampling; Analytical methods for detection, identification and quantitation of organic pollutants; Validation analytical methods; Traceability and comparability of the results; Analytical methods based on the use of sensors: principles of operation, advantages and disadvantages.

Sources of food contamination with nanoparticles (food additives and food-contact materials, like kitchen dishes and packing materials). Modern approaches in the determination of nanoparticles in various food samples with the emphasis on the need for the use of different complementary analytical techniques.

Course literature:

D. Watson (2001), Food Chemical Safety, Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge CB1 6AH, England, str. 1-12, 37-70, 148-168, 193-217, 263-278, 279-294.

Food Safety Management: A Practical Guide for the Food Industry, Edited by:Yasmine Motarjemi and Huub Lelieveld, Elsevier Inc. 2014. ISBN: 978-0-12-381504-0

Persistent Organic Pollutants and Toxic Metals in Foods, 1st Edition, Edited by Martin Rose and Alwyn Fernandes. Elsevier Woodhead Publishing, 2013.

Review articles from the field, periodicals, EU website, other educational readings...

Significant publications and references:

Prof. dr. Janez Ščančar

1. NOVOTNIK, Breda, ZULIANI, Tea, ŠČANČAR, Janez, MILAČIČ, Radmila. Content of trace elements and chromium speciation in Neem powder and tea infusions. Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology, ISSN 0946-672X, 2015, vol. 31, str. 98-106, doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.04.003. [COBISS.SI-ID 28531239]
2. ŠČANČAR, Janez, ZULIANI, Tea, ŽIGON, Dušan, MILAČIČ, Radmila. Ni speciation in tea infusions by monolithic chromatography ICP-MS and Q-TOF-MS. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, ISSN 1618-2642, 2013, vol. 405, no. 6, str. 2041-2051, doi: 10.1007/s00216-012-6611-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 26348327]
3. NOVOTNIK, Breda, ZULIANI, Tea, ŠČANČAR, Janez, MILAČIČ, Radmila. Chromate in food samples: an artefact of wrongly applied analytical methodology?. Journal of analytical atomic spectrometry, ISSN 0267-9477, 2013, vol. 28, no. 4, str. 558-566, doi: 10.1039/C3JA30233D. [COBISS.SI-ID 26528039]
4. ŠČANČAR, Janez, ZULIANI, Tea, MILAČIČ, Radmila. Study of nickel content in Ni-rich food products in Slovenia. Journal of food composition and analysis, ISSN 0889-1575, 2013, vol. 32, no. 1, str. 83-89, doi: 10.1016/j.jfca.2013.06.011. [COBISS.SI-ID 27095591]
5. MILAČIČ, Radmila, AJLEC, Dejan, ZULIANI, Tea, ŽIGON, Dušan, ŠČANČAR, Janez. Determination of Zn-citrate in human milk by CIM monolithic chromatography with atomic and mass spectrometry detection. Talanta, ISSN 0039-9140. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 101, str. 203-210, doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2012.09.002. [COBISS.SI-ID 26118695]
6. ŠČANČAR, Janez, STIBILJ, Vekoslava, MILAČIČ, Radmila. determination of aluminium in Slovenian foodstuffs and its leachability from aluminium-cookware. Food chemistry, ISSN 0308-8146. [Print ed.], 2004, vol. 85, str. 151-157. [COBISS.SI-ID 17875239]

Izr. prof. dr. Ester Heath

1. ČESEN, Marjeta; LAMBROPOULOU, Dimitra; LAIMOU-GERANIOU, Maria; KOSJEK, Tina; BLAZNIK, Urška; HEATH, David; HEATH, Ester: THE DETERMINATION OF BISPHENOLS AND RELATED COMPOUNDS IN HONEY AND THEIR MIGRATION FROM SELECTED FOOD CONTACT MATERIALS, sent for publication to Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Aug 2016, Manuscript ID: jf-2016-039242).
2. ELERŠEK, Tina, MILAVEC, Sara, KOROŠEC, Maša, BREZOVŠEK, Polona, NEGREIRA, Noelia, ŽONJA, Božo, LOPEZ DE ALDA, Miren, BARCELÓ, Damia, HEATH, Ester, ŠČANČAR, Janez, FILIPIČ, Metka. Toxicity of the mixture of selected antineoplastic drugs against aquatic primary producers. Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344. [Print ed.], 2016, vol. , no. , 11 str.
3. HEATH, Ester, ČESEN, Marjeta, ŠČANČAR, Janez, NOVAKOVIĆ, Srdjan, MISLEJ, Vesna, STRAŽAR, Marjeta, KOSJEK, Tina, et al. First inter-laboratory comparison exercise for the determination of anticancer drugs in aqueous samples. Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344. [Print ed.], 2016, vol. 23, no. 15, str. 14692-14704.
4. COVACI, Adrian, HORVAT, Milena, HEATH, Ester, KOSJEK, Tina, MAZEJ, Darja, SNOJ TRATNIK, Janja, et al. Urinary BPA measurements in children and mothers from six European member states : overall results and determinants of exposure. Environmental research, ISSN 0013-9351, 2015, vol. 141, str. 77-85.
5. WALLISCH, Stefanie, GRIL, Tjaša, DONG, Xia, WELZL, Gerd, BRUNS, Christian, HEATH, Ester, ENGEL, Marion, SUHADOLC, Marjetka, SCHLOTER, Michael. Effects of different compost amendments on the abundance and composition of alkB harboring bacterial communities in a soil under industrial use contaminated with hydrocarbons. Frontiers in microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, 2014, vol. 5, art. 96, str. 1-10.
6. MIKLAVČIČ VIŠNJEVEC, Ana, STIBILJ, Vekoslava, HEATH, Ester, POLAK, Tomaž, SNOJ TRATNIK, Janja, KLAVŽ, Janez, MAZEJ, Darja, HORVAT, Milena. Mercury, selenium, PCBs and fatty acids in fresh and canned fish available on the Slovenian market. Food chemistry, ISSN 0308-8146. [Print ed.], 2011, vol. 124, issue 3, str. 711-720.

Assist. prof. dr. Tina Kosjek

1. KOSJEK, Tina, PERKO, Silva, HEATH, Ester, KRALJ, Bogdan, ŽIGON, Dušan. Application of complementary mass spectrometric techniques to the identification of ketoprofen phototransformation products. Journal of mass spectrometry, ISSN 1076-5174, 2011, vol. 46, no. 4, str. 391-401.
2. KOSJEK, Tina, PERKO, Silva, ZUPANC, Mojca, ZANOŠKI HREN, M., LANDEKA DRAGIČEVIĆ, T., ŽIGON, Dušan, HEATH, Ester, KOMPARE, Boris. Environmental occurrence, fate and transformation of benzodiazepines in water treatment. Water research, ISSN 0043-1354. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 46, issue 2, 355-368.
3. KOSJEK, Tina, KRAJNC, Anja, GORNIK, Tjaša, ŽIGON, Dušan, GROŠELJ, Aleš, SERŠA, Gregor, ČEMAŽAR, Maja. Identification and quantification of bleomycin in serum and tumor tissue by liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. Talanta, ISSN 0039-9140. [Print ed.], [in press] 2016, 17 str., doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.06.062.
4. KOSJEK, Tina, NEGREIRA, Noelia, LOPEZ DE ALDA, Miren, BARCELÓ, Damia. Aerobic activated sludge transformation of methotrexate : identification of biotransformation products. Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535. [Print ed.], 2015, vol. 119, suppl. 1, str. S42-S50, doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.04.081.
5. KOSJEK, Tina, DOLINŠEK, Tanja, GRAMEC, Darja, HEATH, Ester, STROJAN, Primož, SERŠA, Gregor, ČEMAŽAR, Maja. Determination of vinblastine in tumor tissue with liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry. Talanta, ISSN 0039-9140. [Print ed.], 2013, vol. 116, str. 887-893.
6. KOSJEK, Tina, PERKO, Silva, ŽIGON, Dušan, HEATH, Ester. Fluorouracil in the environment: analysis, occurrence, degradation and transformation. Journal of chromatography. A, ISSN 0021-9673, 2013, vol. 1290, str. 62-72.


Seminar (50%)
Oral examination (50%)

Students obligations:

Seminar and oral examination.