Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

CCQM-K95.1 Low-Polarity Analytes in a Botanical Matrix: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Tea



David L. Duewer, Jacolin A. Murray, Laura J. Wood, Stephen A. Wise


Extraction, chromatographic separation, and quantification of low-concentration organic compounds in complex matrices are core challenges for reference material producers and providers of calibration services. Evidence of successful participation in formal, relevant international comparisons is needed to document measurement capability claims made by national metrology institutes (NMIs) and designated institutes (DIs). To enable NMIs and DIs to update or establish to demonstrate their claims, in 2014 the Organic Analysis Working Group (OAWG) initiated CCQM-K95.1 “Low-Polarity Analytes in a Botanical Matrix: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Tea”. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) benz[a]anthracene (BaA) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) are considered priority pollutants by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and are regulated contaminants in food, pose chromatographic separation challenges, and for which exist well-characterized measurement procedures and standard materials. BaA and BaP in a smoked tea were therefore selected as representative target measurands for CCQM-K95.1. Ten NMIs participated in CCQM-K95.1. The consensus summary mass fractions for the two PAHs are in the range of (50 to 70) ng/g with relative standard deviations of (6 to 10) %. Successful participation in CCQM K95.1 demonstrates the following measurement capabilities in determining mass fraction of organic compounds, with molecular mass of 100 g/mol to 500 g/mol and having polarity pKow


CCQM, OAWG, Key Comparison (KC), benz[a]anthracene (BaA), benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)
Created November 30, 2018, Updated January 27, 2020