Mahdieh Mostafidi, Faezeh Shirkhan, Maryam Tamaskani Zahedi, Parisa Ziarati, Bernhard Hochwimmer and Luis Cruz-Rodriguez

One of the major involvements of healthy soils in the environment is heavy metals which can be accumulated in vegetables and crops grown on due to the probability of food contamination through the soil-root interface. It should be considered that the preparation and processing of these materials could be provide the entrance of chemical hazardous materials and contaminants, such as heavy metals which nowadays are one of the most important contaminations in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, due to the lack of studies in packaged samples in Tehran Market, the main goals of current were to evaluate the levels of lead, cadmium, and nickel in 360 ready-to-eat vegetable, which were randomly collected from recognized sales centers in Tehran market level. In packaged vegetable samples, two groups of leafy and Tuber vegetables were investigated, which included scallion, mint, basil, cress, leek, parsley and radish. Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES) method was used to analyze the concentration of these elements according to international protocols. Analy¬sis of Variance (ANOVA) test were used for analysis of the variances. Differences were considered significant at values of P< 0.05. The results of the present study showed that Lead content in mint and leek significantly higher than other leafy vegetables (p <0.003), while the highest nickel contents in cress samples in all 8 brands was on the top (p <0.001). Also, the lowest amount of lead and nickel observed in the parsley samples (p <0.03) and the least amount of cadmium was observed in basil (p <0.01). In the case of tuber vegetables, the highest concentrations of all studied heavy metals l were in scallion (p <0.01). The mean concentrations of lead, cadmium, and nickel in the investigated vegetables were much higher than the FAO/WHO and Codex standards. It is suggested that regular monitoring of heavy metals in vegetables and other food items should be done to prevent excessive production of these heavy metals in the human food chain. At the time of production, transportation and marketing of vegetables, the necessary precautions should be taken.

Keywords: Packaged Vegetable, Heavy Metals, ICP, Contamination, Iran

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