ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Evaluation of Heavy Metals Contents in Spices and Herbs Available on the Polish Market
Z. Krejpcio1, E. Krol1, S. Sionkowski2
 
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1Department of Human Nutrition and Hygiene, Agricultural University, Wojska Polskiego 31, 60-624 Poznan, Poland
2Sanitary and Epidemiology Station for Region of Poznan. Branch in Kalisz, Kosciuszki 6, 62-800 Kalisz, Poland
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2007;16(1):97–100
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ABSTRACT
Herbs and spices are sources of many bioactive compounds that can improve the taste of foods as well as influence digestion and metabolism processes. They can also contain some undesirable components that can be harmful, e.g. micotoxins, pesticides, heavy metals, and polycyclic carbohydrates residues.
The objective of this study was to determine Pb, Cd, Zn, and Cu contents in the most popular spices and herbs used in Polish cuisine. The content of these metals was assayed by the AAS method. The results were compared with the safety standards established by the National Ministry of Health. Excessive amounts of Pb were found in 40% of basil, 42% of cinnamon, 25% of savory and 6% of dried onion samples. Increased levels of Cd were detected in 20% of basil, 25% of savory and 42% of cinnamon samples. Zn and Cu levels in all herbs and spices were within the safe limits.
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