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Published: Kem. Ind. 63 (3-4) (2014) 77–81
Paper reference number: KUI-08/2013
Paper type: Original scientific paper
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Heavy Metal Contents in Spices from Markets in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

J. Huremović, B. Badema, T. Muhić-Šarac, A. Selović and M. Memić+


Spices are some of the most common foods in the human diet around the world. Spices are dried parts of plants used often as diet components to improve aroma and acceptability of food. The aim of this work was to determine the contents of seven heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in spices available at local markets in Sarajevo. Metal concentrations in six spice samples (black pepper (Piper nigrum), basil (Ocimum basilicum), oregano (Oreganum vulgaris), paprika (Capsicum annuum), parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)) were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The content of chromium and nickel in all samples was below 5 mg kg−1. Copper levels were in the range of 2.36−19.47 mg kg−1, iron 6.80−785.56 mg kg−1, manganese 6.14−59.36 mg kg−1, lead 0.74−20.35 and zinc 6.93−85.44 mg kg−1. These results were in agreement with other published data except in the case of Pb which content was slightly higher. Daily intake of different metals was calculated and compared with the MRL values given by ATSDR (2013). The content of lead in most of the samples was above the maximum permitted concentrations recommended by WHO and national regulations of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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heavy metals, spices, flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS)