Bioaccumulation process and health risk assessment of toxic elements in tomato fruit grown under Zn nutrition treatment

  • Stefan M. Kolašinac
  • Slavoljub S. Lekić
  • Jelena Golijan
  • Tanja Petrović
  • Goran Todorovic
  • Aleksandar Ž. KostićEmail author


The aim of this work was to determine elements composition and bioaccumulation process in ripe tomato fruits influenced by zinc feeding of plants which was applied in three different doses. Macro- and microelement content in growing soil, seeds, and fruits was determined by ICP-OES method. Health risk assessment was calculated according to the presence of some toxic elements. It was found that predominant macroelements were phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium followed by other ten determined elements. The presence of five potentially toxic elements (cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, and strontium) in seed and fruits was detected. Bioaccumulation differences (especially in case of potassium) for some elements in seed and fruit were established. In both cases, calcium and lead were the only elements with antagonistic effect towards zinc feeding process. Health risk assessment has shown that acute risk is low for all toxic elements (according to acute hazard quotient (HQ) calculation) except for cadmium in fruit seed, where it can be characterized as moderate. Long-term hazard quotient calculation showed moderate risk in the case of lead (fruit skin and seed) and low values for other toxic elements. Since the most part of toxic elements was accumulated in tomato fruit skin and seed, peeling of fruits can significantly reduce health risk.

Graphical abstract


Lycopersicon esculentum Мill. Plant nutrition Accumulation of elements Acute hazard quotient Long-term hazard quotient 


Funding information

We are grateful to the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development for providing Grant TR 31003 for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Agriculture, Chair of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Seed ProductionUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Maize Research Institute “Zemun Polje”BelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Faculty of Agriculture, Chair of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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