Assessment of metal contents in spices and herbs from Saudi Arabia

Seddigi Z. S., Kandhro G. A., Shah F., Danish E., SOYLAK M.

TOXICOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH, vol.32, no.2, pp.260-269, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0748233713500822
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.260-269
  • Keywords: Heavy metals, determination, spice, herbs, Saudi Arabia, atomic absorption spectroscopy, SOLID-PHASE EXTRACTION, MEDICINAL-PLANTS, TRACE-ELEMENTS, HEAVY-METALS, CADMIUM, SAMPLES, CHROMIUM, COPPER, SELENIUM, KAYSERI
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


In the recent years, there has been a growing interest in monitoring heavy metal contamination of spices/herbs. Spices and herbs are sources of many bioactive compounds that can improve the tastes of food as well as influence digestion and metabolism processes. In the present study, the levels of some essential and toxic elements such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd), present in common spices/herbs that were purchased from the local market in Saudi Arabia, were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy after digestion with nitric acid/hydrogen peroxide mixture. Samples from the following spices/herbs were used: turmeric, cloves, black pepper, red pepper, cumin, legume, cinnamon, abazir, white pepper, ginger, and coriander. The concentration ranges for the studied elements were found as 48.8-231, 4.7-19.4, 2.5-10.5, below detection level (BDL)-1.0, 8.8-490, 1.0-2.6, and BDL-3.7 mg g(-1) for Fe, Zn, Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni, and Pb, respectively, while Cd and Co levels were below the detection limit. Consumers of these spices/herbs would not be exposed to any risk associated with the daily intake of 10 g of spices per day as far as metals Fe, Zn, Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni, and Pb are concerned.