alexa Heavy metal content of some common spices available in markets in the Kumasi metropolis of Ghana
Chemistry

Chemistry

Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry

Author(s): Marian Asantewah NKANSAH, Cosmos OPOKU AMOAKO

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In recent years, there has been a growing interest in monitoring heavy metal contamination of spices. The concentrations of some heavy metals (lead, zinc, nickel, copper, iron, and mercury) in 15 common spices available at local markets in the Kumasi Metropolis were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) from October, 2008 to February, 2009. The study showed differences in metal concentrations according to the edible part (root, stem, leaf, and fruit). The range of the concentrations of metals in dry weights were; Lead 0.1153 - 0.0973 g/kg, Zinc 0.074 - 0.059 g/kg, Nickel 0.0735 - 0.0593 g/kg, Copper 0.0210 - 0.009 g/kg, Iron 0.4942 - 0.1100 g/kg, Mercury 1.300*10-6 - 2.493*10-5 g/kg respectively. Most of the levels in the spices were acceptable with the exception of lead which was above the standard limit approved by WHO and FAO for some of the samples. Consumers of these spices would not be exposed to any risk associated with the daily intake of 10g of spices per day as far as metals; Zinc, Nickel, Copper, Iron and Mercury are concerned. However Lead levels in Ginger, Negro pepper and Cinnamon were above the standard value of 0.1 g/kg. Generally most of the spices available on the market are safe for human consumption as far as trace metal levels are concerned.

This article was published in AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH and referenced in Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry

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