Department of Food and Environmental Chemistry

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About the department

The Department of Food and Environmental Chemistry was established based on the decision of the NMFRI’s Director in October 2008. Today, it has got 9 employees, including 2 researchers.  The research of the Department is focused on the following topics:

Undesired substances in the water environment

The organisms’ exposure to the water environment pollutants may induce a number of unfavourable changes and abnormalities in them, on the subcellular, organ or even population levels. The purpose of the research conducted in the Department is to identify the pollutants, which are potential threats to the correct functioning of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and to get to know the processes of their circulation in the environment. 


Seafood is promoted primarily because of its beneficial content of fatty acids. However, as the scientific literature says that it also contains pollutants, the risk to the health connected with consuming seafood is also discussed. The research conducted at the Department provides information on what species of fish can be the most beneficial to the health as well as data on the consumer’s exposure to chemical pollutants in the products on the Polish market.

The quality of food is determined by both the quality of the raw material of which it was produced and the course of the production process. Therefore, the research conducted in the Department aims to optimize the technological solutions in the entire production chain, so that the quality and safety of the final product improve.

Rational raw materials, water and sewage management at fishing industry facilities

Fish processing is a significant element on the raw material’s way to its consumer, as most consumers are more willing to buy products, which are easy to prepare than fresh fish.  It leads to generation of waste and by-products, which should be used in a way, which entails the lowest possible material and environmental costs.  The unique composition of fatty acids and amino acids in the fish proteins is the reason why by-products of fish processing can be transformed into valuable products, which we could apply in the production of food, feeds and dietary supplements.

The research encompasses:

  • the use of fish components in production of feeds and diets of animals
  • processing and use of waste and process water from the fishing industry
  • solutions which help implement more environmentally friendly production technologies

The department provides analytical services for external entities in:

  • heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants: pesticides, aromatic hydrocarbons (WWA, including benzo(a)pyrene) and their metabolites, PCB, PBDE, HBCDD, organotin compounds in environmental, food and feed samples;
  • fatty acids, lipid soluble vitamins;
  • basic composition of food: protein, fat, dry matter;
  • parameters connected with food freshness;
  • parameters for assessing the quality of sewage.


Acting Head
Dr. Ilona 587-356-190
Dr. Eng. Lucyna Polak-Juszczak, Professor of 587-356-166
Senior scientists
Dr. Ilona 587-356-190
Engineering and technical employees
Leszek 587-356-165
M.Eng. Agnieszka Gó 587-356-163
Karolina Jonko-Sobuś, 587-356-165
M. Eng. Małgorzata Malesa-Cieć 587-356-164
M. Eng. Mateusz 587-356-165
Wiesława Ruczyńska, 587-356-163
M. Eng. Urszula 587-356-164

Major projects (since 2013)

  1. ZAR/W-14 – Eel management plan in Poland. 31.07.2014–29.05.2015, PGZWP
  2. Multi-faceted assessment of the impact of pollution on the selected fish species and other organisms inhabiting the area of the southern Baltic. 31.12.2013– 30.12.2014, statutory grant
  3. The use of markers to study trophic relationships among ichthyofauna of the Vistula Lagoon. 22.01.2013–21.01.2015, call
  4. Ecotoxicology of marine sediments. 31.12.2014– 30.12.2015, statutory grant
  5. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their alkylated derivatives in sediments and bottom organisms from the southern Baltic. 31.12.2015–30.12.2016, call
  6. Distribution of methylmercury and inorganic mercury in marine and freshwater fish tissues and organs. 2016–2017, dotacja
  7. ProHealth – Innovative processing to preserve positive health effects in pelagic fish products. 31.03.2016–30.03.2019, call
  8. SeaQual – Seafood safety and quality in terms of the zoonotic and toxicological hazard: risk assessment, monitoring and mitigation. 01.01.2016–30.07.2019, call
  9. InnoAquaTech – Cross-border development and transfer of innovative and sustainable aquaculture technologies in the South Baltic area. 30.06.2016–29.06.2019, call
  10. PAHs in the coastal atmosphere. 02.10.2018–01.10.2021, call

Major publications (since 2014)

  1. Szlinder-Richert J., Nermer T., Szatkowska U. 2014. PAH metabolites in European eels (Anguilla anguilla) as indicators of PAH exposure: different methodological approaches. Science of the Total Environment 496, 84-91
  2. Szlinder-Richert J., Ruczyńska W., Nermer T., Usydus Z., Robak S. 2014. The occurrence of organic contaminants in European eel (Anguilla Anguilla) in Poland: An environmental quality assessment. Chemosphere 114, 282-290
  3. Waszak I., Dąbrowska H., Komar-Szymczak K. 2014. Comparison of common persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in flounder (Platichths flesus) from Vistula (Poland) and Douro (Portugal) River estuaries. Marine Pollution Bulletin 81 (1), 225-233
  4. Polak-Juszczak L., 2015. Selenium and mercury molar ratios in commercial fish from the Baltic Sea: additional risk assessment criterion for mercury exposure. Food Control 50, 881-888
  5. Malesa-Ciećwierz M., Usydus Z. 2015. Vitamin D: Is there a possibility to use fish food – based solutions for reduction of vitamin D deficiency in Poland? Nutrition 31, 187-192
  6. Dąbrowska H., Kopko O., Lehtonen K, Lang T., Waszak I., Balode M., Strode E. 2017. An integrated assessment of pollution and biological effects in flounder, mussels and sediment in the southern Baltic Sea coastal area. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24 (4), 3626–3639
  7. Polak-Juszczak L., Nermer T. 2016. Methylmercury and total mercury in eels, Anguilla anguilla, from lakes in Northeastern Poland: health risk assessment. EcoHealth 13, 582–590
  8. Kopko O., Dąbrowska H. 2017. Variability of biological indices, biomarkers, and organochlorine contaminants in flounder (Platichthys flesus) in the Gulf of Gdańsk, southern Baltic Sea. Chemosphere 194, 701-713
  9. Siudek, P., Frankowski, M., 2017. The effect of sources and air mass transport on the variability of trace element deposition in central Poland: a cluster-based approach. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24(29), 23026-23038
  10. Aljewicz Marek, Juśkiewicz Jerzyb, Lucyna Polak-Juszczak.2018. Effect of milk gel acidity and β-glucan structure on fermentation processes in the caecum and bioavailability of mineral compounds in growing rats. Journal of Functional Foods 49, 214-223
  11. Ilona Waszak, Henryka Dabrowska, Jan Warzocha (2019): Assessment of native and alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments and mussels (Mytilus spp.) in the southern Baltic Sea. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 21, 514-527

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