Heavy metal levels in leafy vegetables and some selected fruits

  • Neriman Bagdatlioglu
  • Cevdet Nergiz
  • Pelin Gunc Ergonul


The aim of this study was to determine the levels of Cu, Zn, Fe, Pb and Cd in various fruits (tomato, cherry, grape, strawberry) and vegetables (parsley, onion, lettuce, garlic, nettle, peppermint, rocket, spinach, dill, broad bean, chard, purslane, grapevine leaves) grown in Manisa region. Flame and Graphite Furnace Atomic absorption spectrometry was used to estimate and evaluate the levels of these metals. Detected levels ranged from 0.56 to 329.7, 0.01 to 5.67, 0.26 to 30.68, 0.001 to 0.97 and 0 to 0.06 μg/g for Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd, respectively. While the highest mean levels of Cu and Zn were detected in grapevine leaves, the lowest mean levels of Fe and Pb were detected in nettle. Cd was not detected in most of the fruits and vegetables studied. The estimated daily intakes of Cu, Zn, Fe, Pb and Cd through fruits and vegetables were found to be below the maximum tolerable levels recommended by FAO/WHO. The element concentrations of fruits and vegetables analyzed in this study were within safety baseline levels for human consumption.


Atomic absorption spectrometer Heavy metals Leafy vegetables Fruits 



The Environmental Protection Agency


Joint Expert Committee of Food Additives and Contaminants


Provisional maximum tolerable daily intakes


Provisional maximum tolerable weekly intakes


Reference doses



The authors are grateful for the financial support of the Unit of the Scientific Research Projects of Celal Bayar University (Project number MUH 2004/058).


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neriman Bagdatlioglu
    • 1
  • Cevdet Nergiz
    • 2
  • Pelin Gunc Ergonul
    • 1
  1. 1.Food Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringCelal Bayar UniversityManisaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and ScienceFatih UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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