ESTIMATION OF HEAVY METAL LEVELS IN GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES PURCHASED FROM SUCEAVA

Ancuța Elena PRISACARU, Laura Carmen APOSTOL, Sorina ROPCIUC

Abstract

In the present study the levels of five important heavy metals were identified in vegetable samples purchased from Suceava local markets. The concentrations of Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn) and Copper (Cu) were analysed using a mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) from the Instrumental Analysis Laboratory within the Faculty of Food Engineering Suceava.  The mean levels of heavy metals examined in spinach (Spinacia oleracea), ramsons (Allium ursinum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), orache (Atriplex hortensis) and nettle (Urtica dioica) were found to be in the order: Fe (13.52 µg/g) > Cu (4.83 µg/g) > Zn (3.623 µg/g) > Cd (1.890 µg/g)> Pb (0.290 µg/g). The highest concentration of heavy metal was identified in the case of Fe (51.333 µg/g in ramsons), whereas the lowest amount was identified for Pb (0.227 µg/g orache). The estimated daily intake for Cd is above 60 µg/kg b.w./day. The levels of the other metals are lower than the safe limits predicted by the FAO/WHO.

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