Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 586–595 | Cite as

Evaluation of Arsenic, Cadmium, Nickel and Lead in Common Spices in Pakistan

  • Jameel Ahmed BaigEmail author
  • Saba Bhatti
  • Tasneem Gul Kazi
  • Hassan Imran Afridi


The quantitative assessments and daily intake of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb) were conducted in the 26 common spices collected from the market of Hyderabad, Pakistan. Conventional acid digestion procedure was applied for dissolution of common spices and the contents of toxic elemental were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The conventional acid digestion method was validated by certified reference materials and standard addition. A wide variability was observed in the levels of toxic elements in common spices. The toxic elements in common spices were found in decreasing order as Ni > Pb > As > Cd. The contents of As, Cd, Ni and Pb in common spices were observed highest in coriander seed, allspices, nigella seed and black cumin seed, respectively. The current study revealed that the toxic elements in common spices were varied from region to region. However, the estimated intake of As, Cd, Ni and Pb from common spices were within the WHO tolerable weekly intake. The data of risk assessment indicated that As, Cd, Ni, and Pb in common spices may not have any toxic risk except the As in carom, coriander and nigella seeds.


Common spices Toxic elements Estimated dietary intake Risk assessment 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval was obtained from the ethical review committee of University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre of Excellence in Analytical ChemistryUniversity of SindhJamshoroPakistan

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