Author(s): Faruk Ozkutlu, Nazim Sekeroglu, S Metin Kara
Interest in monitoring heavy metals and trace elements ofspices and herbs has recently increased. Some tropical spices commonly consumed in Turkey were monitored as to their cadmium and some trace element contents such as Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn. Fifteen samples of allspice (Pimenta dioica (L.) Merrill), black pepper (Piper nigrum L.), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum L.), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtten), clove (Szygium aromaticum L. Merrill), galangal (Alpina officinarum Hance), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton), ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) were analyzed.The resultsshowed that cadmiumand trace element contents of ninespices evaluated were withinthe low range. Cd was not detected in any samples of nutmeg. The level of Cd in the rest of the samples ranged from 13 mg kgin clove to 206 mg kg-1 in black pepper. Content of Fe varied between 28 mg kg-1 in nutmeg to 374 mg kg-1 in black pepper. The level of Cu in the samples was within the range of 3.0-11 mg kg-1 . The highestMn content was that of clove sample (355 mg kg-1) whereasthe lowest level wasrecorded in turmeric (10 mg kg-1). Zinc content of the plant samples ranged between 4 and 25 mg kg-1 with cardamom containing the highest.