Levels of Heavy Metals in Pasta Available in the Nigerian Market: Assessing the Human Health Implications


Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka


The concentrations of some heavy metals were determined in some pasta consumed in Nigeria, with a view to providing information on their dietary intake and exposure of consumers. The metals were determined by atomic spectrometry after acid digestion.  The  results (µg/g) were in the following ranges: locally manufactured pasta: Ni (0.005 - 0.738); Mn (0.2 - 1.938); Cd (Nd to 0.015); Cu (nd - 0.456); Zn (0.071 – 2.902); Pb (0.278 - 0.692); Cr (nd - 0.206) while imported pasta concentrations were: Ni (0.039 – 1.301); Mn (Nd - 1.515);  Cd (Nd – 1.059); Cu (nd - 0.333); Zn (nd - 2.024); Pb (0.313 – 1.085); Cr (Nd - 0.233). The estimated daily intakes of these pastas were below the tolerable daily intake limits of the metals stipulated by FAO/WHO and JECFA. The hazard quotient and total hazard index (THI) values were less than 1 indicating no adverse health effect. However, THI in imported macaroni was appreciable.


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