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Heavy metals (Cd, Pb) and trace elements (Cu, Zn) contents in some foodstuffs from the Egyptian market

Ahmed K. Salama, Mohamed A. Radwan.

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Determination of heavy metals; cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) as well as trace elements; copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) contents in legumes, cereals, cereal products and fried potatoes purchased from the Egyptian market were carried out using atomic absorption spectrometry. The heavy metal amounts detected in legumes ranged from 0.010 to 0.178 mg.kg-1 of Cd and 0.013 to 0.281 mg.kg-1 of Pb. However, the trace elements ranged from 2.839 to 8.012 mg.kg-1 of Cu, and 6.111 to 15.861 mg.kg-1 of Zn. In the case of cereals, they ranged from 0.091 to 0.142 mg.kg-1 of Cd, 0.116 to 0.398 mg.kg-1 of Pb, 0.241 to 1.962 mg.kg-1 of Cu, and 4.893 to 15.450 mg.kg-1 of Zn. The highest values of Cd, Pb, Cu and Zn in cereal products were observed in popcorn (0.194 mg.kg-1), pasta (0.299 mg.kg-1), salted biscuits (1.386 mg.kg-1) and pizza crust (13.70 mg.kg-1), respectively. Fried potatoes content of the studied metals were found to be ranged from 0.054 to 0.10 of Cd, 0.065 to 0.159 of Pb, 1.626 to 1.992 of Cu and 3.837 to 6.844 mg.kg-1 of Zn. Overall, the present study showed that the levels of Cu and Zn are generally below the permissible levels. However, the levels of Pb in broad beans, common bean, lupine, fenugreek, rice, wheat,spaghetti and pasta were found to be above the permissible levels. On the other hand, Cdlevels found in most samples were above the acceptable levels as established by the regulatory organizations. The levels compare well with those reported for similar foodstuffsfrom some other parts of the world.

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American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health


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