Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 31, pp 30928–30937 | Cite as

The concentration of heavy metals in noodle samples from Iran’s market: probabilistic health risk assessment

  • Behrouz Tajdar-oranj
  • Nabi Shariatifar
  • Mahmood Alimohammadi
  • Leila Peivasteh-roudsari
  • Gholamreza Jahed KhanikiEmail author
  • Yadolah Fakhri
  • Amin Mousavi KhaneghahEmail author
Research Article


In the current study, the concentration of heavy metals including lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), and aluminum (Al) in commonly instant noodles consumed in Iran (either imported from other countries or produced in Iran) was investigated by acid digestion method followed by an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry system (ICP-OES). Also, the associated non-carcinogenic risk due to ingestion of heavy metals for adults and children was estimated by calculating percentile 95% target hazard quotient (THQ) in the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) method. The average concentrations of Pb, Cr, Cd, and Al in Iranian instant noodle samples were measured as 1.21 ± 0.81, 0.08 ± 0.10, 0.03 ± 0.06, and 9.15 ± 4.82 (mg/kg) and in imported instant noodle samples were 1.00 ± 0.61, 0.07 ± 0.07, 0.04 ± 0.03, and 15.90 ± 0.93 (mg/kg), respectively. A significant difference (p value < 0.05) in the mean concentration of Pb, Cr, Cd, and Al of Iranian instant noodle and imported instant noodle samples was observed. Also, the concentration of Pb, Cr, Cd, and Al in all brands of instant noodle (0.025 mg/kg, 0.050 mg/kg, 0.003 mg/kg, and 0.237 mg/kg, respectively) surpassed the WHO-permitted limits for Pb, Cr, Cd, and Al. Percentile 95% of THQ of Pb, Cr, Cd, and Al for the adult consumers was calculated as 0.012, 0.000007, 0.010, and 1.789; while in the case of children, percentile 95% of THQ of Pb, Cr, Cd, and Al was defined as 0.044, 0.00023, 0.035, and 6.167, respectively. Health risk assessment indicated that both adults and children are at considerable non-carcinogenic health risk for Al (THQ > 1). Therefore, approaching the required strategies in order to reduce the concentration of heavy metals particularly Al in the instant noodle is recommended.


Heavy metals Instant noodle ICP-OES Risk assessment Monte Carlo simulation, non-carcinogenic 



The study presented in this article was partly extracted from the thesis of Behrouz Tajdar-oranj (MSc student in food safety and hygiene). Amin Mousavi Khaneghah likes to thank the support of CNPq-TWAS Postgraduate Fellowship (grant no. 3240274290).

Funding information

This study was financially supported by the Tehran University of Medical Science (School of Public Health).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Student Scientific Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Halal Research Center of IRI.FDA.MOHTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Student research committeeShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food EngineeringState University of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil

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