Research Article

Level and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Selected Seasonings and Culinary Condiments Used in Nigeria  

Ayobami O. Aigberua1 , Sylvester Chibueze Izah2 , Isaac Udo Isaac3
1 Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
3 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Federal University of Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
Biological Evidence, 2018, Vol. 8, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/be.2018.08.0002
Received: 29 Mar., 2018    Accepted: 03 May, 2018    Published: 11 May, 2018
© 2018 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Aigberua A.O., Izah S.C., and Isaac I.U., 2018, Level and health risk assessment of heavy metals in selected seasonings and culinary condiments used in Nigeria, Biological Evidence, 8(2): 6-20 (doi: 10.5376/be.2018.08.0002)


Eight trace metals (Mn, Cd, Co, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cr and Ni) were analyzed in selected brands of seasonings and culinary condiments used for cooking in Nigeria with a view of determining the potential health risk index with regard to dietary intake and total hazard quotients. The samples were processed, digested and analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The values of trace metals in the seasoning and culinary condiments were 0.11 – 1.52 mg/kg Cr, 0.76 – 3.56mg/kg Pb, 0.04 – 0.84mg/kg Cd, 0.52 – 2.87 mg/kg Ni, 0.06 – 2.60 mg/kg Cu, 0.27 – 7.86 mg/kg Zn, 0.68 – 56.64mg/kg Mn and 0.08 – 2.18mg/kg Co. The concentration of most 50% of the metals viz: Co, Zn, Cu and Ni were below the limit specified by Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization for food additives such as spices. The estimated daily intake values of the metals were less than the tolerable intake limits previously specified by various agencies including Institute of Medicine, Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization and European Food Safety Authority. In the four category of age grade, target hazard quotients (THQs) were <1 indicating no health risk concern for Zn, Cr and Pb; few of the samples had THQ >1 for Mn and Cu; majority of the samples also had THQ >1 with regard to Co and Cd; and school children and infants were at health concern for Ni from the consumption of the seasonings and culinary condiments. The summation of the THQ value of the metals were high, suggesting possible health concern for the consumers of this products on daily basis over a prolong period of time.

Dietary intakes; Food seasonings; Nigeria; Target hazard quotient; Trace metals
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