LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS IN PASTA AVAILABLE IN THE NIGERIAN MARKET- ASSESSING THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS IN PASTA AVAILABLE IN THE NIGERIAN MARKET- ASSESSING THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

ABSTRACT

The concentrations of Ni, Mn, Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Cr, were determined in some pastas consumed in Nigeria, with a view to providing information on the dietary intakes of heavy metals and exposure of humans to toxic metals. The concentrations of these seven (7) elements were determined by atomic spectrometry after nitric acid/perchloric acid digestion. The concentrations of the metals (µg/g) in the locally manufactured pasta samples were in the following ranges: Ni (0.109 – 0.344); Mn (0.377 – 2.279); Cd (Nd to 0.011); Cu (0.115 – 0.287); Zn (0.162 – 4.846); Pb (0.315 – 0.542); Cr (0.003 – 0.178). The concentrations of the metals (µg/g) in the imported pasta samples were in the following ranges: Ni (0.077 – 0.234); Mn (Nd – 1.118); Cd (Nd – 0.779); Cu (0.028 – 0.289); Zn (0.015 – 2.141); Pb (0.328 – 0.847); Cr (Nd – 0.125). The estimated daily intakes of metals (µg/kg bw/day) from the consumption of local pasta were in these ranges, for noodles: (0.003 – 1.366) for generally exposed children and adults; (0.005 – 2.342) for typically exposed children and adult; for spaghetti  (0.003 – 3.382) for generally exposed children and adults; (0.005 – 6.764) for typically exposed children and adult; for macaroni: (0.007 – 6.118) for generally exposed children and adults; (0.014 – 12.236) for typically exposed children and adults.  The estimated daily intakes of metals (µg/kg bw/day) from the consumption of imported pasta were in these ranges, for noodles:  (0.002 – 2.375) for generally exposed children and adult; (0.004 – 4.75) for typically exposed children and adults; for spaghetti: (0.002 – 0.965) for generally exposed children and adults; (0.003 – 1.93) for typically exposed children and adults, for rmacaroni: (0.028 – 3.285) for generally exposed children and adults; (0.055 – 6.569) for typically exposed children and adults. The estimated daily intakes of these pastas were below the provisional tolerable daily intake limits of the metals as stipulated by FAO/WHO and Expert Committee on Food Additives (ECFA). The individual and combined metals total hazard quotient values were less than 1. However, the total hazard quotient in imported macaroni (0.919) was appreciable when compared to others. From the estimated total hazard index, no long life health concerns of metals are associated with the consumption of these pastas.