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Abstract

Determinations of cadmium and lead content in a wide variety of organically produced foodstuffs available in the Greek market were carried out in the present study. The mean values detected ranged from non detectable to 53.4 ng g−1 and 65.0 ng g−1 for cadmium and lead, respectively. The highest cadmium concentrations were observed in the food categories of cereals (21.7 ng g−1), followed by leafy vegetables (15.4 ng g−1), whereas for lead the highest concentrations were found in leafy vegetables (33.4 ng g−1), followed by pulses (21.4 ng g−1) and alcoholic beverages (20.0 ng g−1). The comparison of the two metals’ content in certified organically grown foodstuffs to that of conventional ones from the Greek market demonstrates that cadmium and lead concentrations are higher in conventional foodstuffs in a percentage equal to 64% and 61% of the products compared, respectively. The results also show that “uncertified” organic products contained far larger concentrations of cadmium and lead than either the certified organic or conventional foodstuffs. These results demonstrate that although the majority of certified organic products may have lower metal content, organic agriculture as such does not necessarily reduce the cadmium and lead content of organically cultivated products, unless additional provisions are observed.

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... There are few studies reported in the literature comparing the metal concentration in products from organic and conventional cultivation. Karavoltosos et al. 10 studied the elements Cd and Pb in conventional, certied and uncertied organically grown foodstuffs. They analyzed different foods, among them vegetables such as potato, green bell pepper, tomato and eggplant. ...
... In order to monitor the metal concentration in vegetables, different analytical techniques can be employed, such as: graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF AAS), hydride generation atomic uorescence spectrometry (HG AFS), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES), ame atomic absorption spectrometry (F AAS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Karavoltosos et al. 10 used GF AAS for the determination of Cd and Pb in conventional, certied and uncertied organically grown foodstuffs. The samples of cereals, meat, eggs, dairy products, oils and vegetables were subjected to digestion on a hot plate overnight before the analysis. ...
... 50 Nevertheless, similar results were observed by other authors. Karavoltosos et al. 10 studied the Cd and Pb contents in conventional, certied and uncertied organic foodstuffs from the Greek market. The results demonstrated that for the majority of the products, Pb and Cd concentrations were lower in organic products. ...
Article
Three methods have been developed for the determination of cadmium, chromium and copper in vegetables of the Solanaceae family, such as bell pepper, physalis, eggplant, potato, tomato and red pepper, cultivated in conventional and organic farming systems. The samples were lyophilized, milled and the particle size was controlled using a 200 mm polyester sieve. The determination was established using a high-resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer and direct solid sample analysis. The analytical lines at 228.802 nm, 357.869 nm and 327.396 nm were used for Cd, Cr and Cu, respectively. Pyrolysis and atomization temperatures were optimized for all target elements. The calibration curves were obtained with aqueous standard solutions. The characteristic masses obtained were 0.42 pg, 2.7 pg and 19 pg for Cd, Cr and Cu, respectively. The trueness of the methods was confirmed by the analysis of certified reference materials. The concentrations in the vegetables were between 0.78-300 mg kg À1 for Cd, 0.063-1.05 mg g À1 for Cr and 4.5-18.4 mg g À1 for Cu. Some samples presented analyte concentrations above the maximum permitted by legislation. The proposed methods were accurate, simple, fast and sensitive; only a minimum sample preparation was necessary, reducing considerably the sample manipulation and/or dilution.
... Heavy metal contamination to the environment and, consequently, to vegetables has been widely investigated (Farmaki and Thomaidis 2008; Sharma et al. 2009; Song et al. 2009). Several authors have studied the levels of risk elements in carrots, onions and potatoes grown in industrial areas (Zheng et al. 2007), in contaminated soils (Yang et al. 2009), and even from the local market (Karavoltsos et al. 2008; Radwan and Salama 2006). The presence of risk elements not only affects the nutritive values of vegetables, but also has detrimental effects on humans consuming these foods. ...
... From the present study, all root vegetables appeared to contain higher levels of Ni than those previously reported for the same crops from North Western Greece (Stalikas, Mantalovas, and Pilidis 1997). The concentrations of Pb in onions from this study were higher than those measured in Greece (Karavoltsos et al. 2008). Present study values for Pb in potatoes were also higher than those found in certified organic foodstuffs but similar to those measured in non-certified foodstuffs, in Greece (Karavoltsos et al. 2008). ...
... The concentrations of Pb in onions from this study were higher than those measured in Greece (Karavoltsos et al. 2008). Present study values for Pb in potatoes were also higher than those found in certified organic foodstuffs but similar to those measured in non-certified foodstuffs, in Greece (Karavoltsos et al. 2008). Also, the values of Cd in carrots registered in this study were lower than those measured in Greece (Karavoltsos 2002), higher than those found in Greece (Karavoltsos et al. 2008), and similar with those found in North Western Greece (Stalikas et al. 1997). ...
Article
The objective of the work was to investigate the correlation between the environmental pollution of Asopos river area in Viotia, Greece and the concentration of Ni, Cr, Cd, Pb, Cu, and As in specific crops (carrots, onions, and potatoes) produced in this region. Samples of these crops from Asopos and other Greek areas (control) were collected. For method accuracy, the Certified Reference Material, CRM 281 (trace elements in rye grass) was measured. Simultaneous multi-element graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry was used after a microwave acid digestion. The levels of Ni in Asopos food were found up to 9 times higher than control (e.g., Asopos potatoes had an average Ni content of 800 µg/kg compared to 78 µg/kg in control, whereas Asopos carrots had an average Ni content of 474 µg/kg compared to 93 µg/kg in control). Likewise, the levels of Cr were found to be about 2 times higher than control (e.g., Asopos carrots were found to have an average Cr content of 43 µg/kg compared to 20 µg/kg in control). The levels of Cd and Pb had a high variance in the Asopos sourced food. Arsenic was not detected in any sample. Our results indicate that the mean intake of trace elements (Ni, Cr, Pb, Cd, and Cu) by adults through consumption of crops from Asopos, for an average consumption pattern, generally is well below the Allowable Daily Intakes (ADIs). Comparison was also made with data from literature from Greece.
... None of the AAS-based studies focused specifically on developing methods for authentication based on elemental analysis but have primarily used AAS analysis to evaluate the impact of, e.g., agricultural practice and fertilizer type, on plant quality. We can conclude from these studies that the impact of geographical region [46,47], plant species [48,49], cultivar [50] and the crop-rotation period [51] is greater than the method of agricultural production. A few AAS-based studies focused on Cd and Pb in plants and showed a higher content of Cd in conventional plants, especially cereals [49,52]. ...
... We can conclude from these studies that the impact of geographical region [46,47], plant species [48,49], cultivar [50] and the crop-rotation period [51] is greater than the method of agricultural production. A few AAS-based studies focused on Cd and Pb in plants and showed a higher content of Cd in conventional plants, especially cereals [49,52]. Several reasons for a potentially higher heavy metal content of conventionally produced plants (e.g., contaminated water, fertilizer use, metal-based pesticides, industrial emission, transportation, harvesting processes, storage and/or sale) were discussed by Mansour et al. [53]. ...
... It has therefore been suggested that factors unrelated to agricultural practice also affect the content of heavy metals in plants. This was also discussed by Karavoltsos et al. [49]., who compared the Cd and Pb content of conventional, certified organic and uncertified organic plant products from, e.g., local markets and local producers. Interestingly, much higher contents of Cd and Pb were found in uncertified organic products, followed by conventional and certified organic products. ...
Article
Organic food products are believed to be healthier, safer and more environment-friendly than their conventional counterparts and are sold at premium prices. Consequently, adulteration of organic plants and fraudulent activities for economic profit are increasing. This has spurred the development of sophisticated analytical procedures for testing authenticity. We review the use of multi-element and stable-isotope analysis based on atomic spectroscopy for discriminating between organic and conventional plants. We conclude that inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, stable-isotope analysis of bulk plant tissue, and compound-specific isotope analysis based on isotope ratio-mass spectrometry are promising tools for documenting the fertilization history of organic plants. However, these techniques are challenged by the potential diversity of fertilization practices of organic and conventional plant production. We therefore recommend that analytical techniques are combined and coupled with chemometrics to develop statistical models that can classify the agricultural origin of plant products.
... Several techniques might be used for elemental determination in vegetables, such as inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) [13,14], ICP mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) [15], flame atomic absorption spectrometry (F AAS) [16][17][18][19][20][21], graphite furnace AAS (GF AAS) [22][23][24], and hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG AFS) [23]. The methods based on these techniques [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] usually involve previous sample digestion and the use of high purity reagents. ...
... Several techniques might be used for elemental determination in vegetables, such as inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) [13,14], ICP mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) [15], flame atomic absorption spectrometry (F AAS) [16][17][18][19][20][21], graphite furnace AAS (GF AAS) [22][23][24], and hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG AFS) [23]. The methods based on these techniques [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] usually involve previous sample digestion and the use of high purity reagents. The sample preparation requires time, increases cost, is more susceptible to contamination of samples, and dilutes the analyte, which might be a challenge for trace element determination [25,26]. ...
... The concentration divergences of conventionally and organically grown vegetables can be caused by several factors: (i) differences in the uptake ability of the plants; (ii) using fertilizers and pesticides and their quantities; (iii) location of the crop, due to possible contamination by particulates; (iv) natural or anthropogenic presence of the elements in soil. Therefore, although it was not a topic of this investigation, soil analysis would be important in order to verify a possible contamination, although it is not trivial to determine whether it is the source or not [18,22,23,[41][42][43][44]. ...
Article
A method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of Ni and Fe in vegetables of the Solanaceae family (bell pepper, tomato, potato, eggplant, physalis, and red pepper) using high-resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry and direct solid sample analysis (HR-CS SS-GF AAS). The vegetables were cultivated using both conventional and “organic” farming. The samples were lyophilized, milled, and the particle size was controlled using a 200 μm polyester sieve. The primary absorption line for Ni at 232.003 nm and a secondary line for Fe at 232.036 nm were used throughout the study. Pyrolysis and atomization temperatures for both analytes were 1400 °C and 2500 °C, respectively. The molecular spectrum of SiO appeared during atomization, and it was corrected using a least-squares algorithm. The calibration was carried out with aqueous standard solutions. The characteristic masses for Ni and Fe were 95 pg and 340 pg, respectively. The LODs of Ni and Fe were 0.02 μg g− 1 and 2 μg g− 1, and the LOQs were 0.06 μg g− 1and 6 μg g− 1, respectively. The accuracy of the method was confirmed by analyzing a certified reference material of tomato leaves (SRM NIST 1573a). The concentrations of Fe were different for conventional and organic farming, whereas only one group of organically grown vegetables had higher Ni concentrations than the conventionally grown.
... This included studies on wheat, oats, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, peach, lentils, and peas. 5,14,18,25 In contrast, a survey-based study by Jorhem and Slanina 11 reported inconsistent results for wheat, and a field experimental study by Rossi et al. 19 found significantly higher Cd levels in organically produced tomato. ...
... There are also some survey and experimental studies in which the Pb content in organic and conventional crops was compared. Rossi et al. 19 reported 4 times higher Pb concentrations in conventional compared to organic wheat produced in Italy, and Karavoltsos et al. 25 reported 60% higher Pb levels in conventional foodstuffs (which included both crop and livestock products) collected from a Greek market. In farm surveys in Denmark and Sweden no significant differences in Pb concentrations could be detected between organic and conventional wheat, onions, and peas. ...
... Therefore, developing prediction equations for fruits using controlled pot experiments is time consuming. To date, studies on heavy metals in fruits have generally been through market investigations (Radwan and Salama, 2006;Karavoltsos et al., 2008). These studies cannot explain the effects of heavy metals in the soil environment on fruit safety. ...
... Therefore, only limited quantities of Cd (0.005-0.04 mg/kg, dry weight) can be transferred to navel orange pulps, which was similar to that found in other countries. For example, orange pulp Cd levels were 0.04, 0.007 and 0.001 mg/kg (dry weight) in markets in Egypt (Radwan and Salama, 2006), Greece (Karavoltsos et al., 2008) and Brazil (Santos et al. 2004), respectively. ...
... Contamination by heavy metals can reach plant products, particularly potatoes, through the use of contam inated irrigation water or sewage sludge, manure, or fertilizers made from phosphates (5,17,25,26). Moreover, the unlawful dumping of industrial waste is a further source. ...
... For vegetables sampled in the marketplace, the mean values of cadmium and lead detected in our study were similar to those found in certified organic potatoes available on the Greek market (8.6 ± 2.7 and 11.8 ± 2.8 ng/g, respectively), while the cadmium and lead content of noncertified potatoes sold or advertised as " organic" on the Greek market were 60.5 ± 19.8 and 15.6 ± 2.7 ng/g, respectively (17). Similar cadmium values were also detected in potatoes from the Serbian (0.009 mg/kg) and Swedish (0.013 mg/kg) markets, while lead levels quantified in both countries were very low (0.003 and 0.02 mg/kg, respectively) (3,27). ...
Article
Illegal practices of waste combustion and their burial in some land devoted to agricultural crops caused a severe economic crisis of the agriculture and food sector in the Campania region of Italy. To assess the levels of contamination by lead and cadmium, the only metals subject to European Union legislation, a system of monitoring of plant foods in the whole territory of the region has been promoted, with the goal of certifying productions and consumer protection. In fact, products that comply with European Union standards are assigned a Quick Response Code, which guarantees the traceability of the product (manufacturer and location).?2 The code also ensures the safety of the product, as it allows the consumer to see the results of the analysis performed on the specific chain of production. The content of lead and cadmium was determined in 750 vegetable samples by using the atomic absorption spectrophotometry after microwave mineralization.?3 These levels were below the maximum limits in all but three samples; two samples of tomatoes exceeded the maximum level of cadmium, and one sample of valerian contained an excess of lead.
... Pollutant emission in urban environment can travel far in the atmosphere because of temperature inversion [25]. High concentration of Lead, Chromium, Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic are linked to airborne transport of pollutant from industrial, highway road and urbanization [23][24][25][26]. Automobiles emit several hundred of different compounds [27] hence the vehicular contribution to atmospheric pollutant of an environment cannot be underestimated as they contribute significantly to the level of trace metals in the environment. ...
... Automobiles emit several hundred of different compounds [27] hence the vehicular contribution to atmospheric pollutant of an environment cannot be underestimated as they contribute significantly to the level of trace metals in the environment. Vehicular contribution may be as a result of dust and exhaust obtained from burning of fossil fuel [16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]. ...
... The similarities in the major target areas and mechanisms of toxicity (e.g., the inhibition of sulfhydryl group containing enzymes and the increased production of ROS) raise concerns regarding the possible toxicity of the combined exposure to Pb and Cd (Dai et al., 2013;Hambach et al., 2013b). They have been implicated as the cause of renal disturbances, lung insufficiency, bone lesions, cancer, and hypertension (Åkesson, 2011;Goyer, 1997;Joseph, 2009;Karavoltsos et al., 2008). Moreover, they can be carcinogenic, embryotoxic, teratogenic, and mutagenic (Järup, 2003). ...
... For example, the Pb and Cd concentrations in goat, cow, sheep, and buffalo milks from two large industrial cities were higher than those in other regions of Iran (Rahimi, 2013). Some of the highest Cd and Pb concentrations were detected in the examined samples of non-certified organically produced foodstuffs from the Greek market (Karavoltsos et al., 2008). The environmental mixtures of chemicals constitute a prevalent issue in ecotoxicology, and reducing the uncertainties associated with their ecological risk assessment is a critical research need. ...
Article
Full-text available
The exposure to chemical mixtures is a common and important determinant of toxicity and receives concern for their introduction by inhalation and ingestion. However, few in vivo mixture studies have been conducted to understand the health effects of chemical mixtures compared with single chemicals. In this study, the acute and 90 day sub-chronic toxicity tests of combined Pb and Cd were conducted. In the acute toxicity test, the LD50 value of Pb(NO3)2 and CdCl2 mixture by the oral route was 2696.54mg/kg by Bliss method. The sub-chronic treatment revealed that the low-dose combination of Pb and Cd exposures can significantly change the physiological and biochemical parameters of the blood of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats with dose-response relationship and causes microcytic hypochromic anemia and the damages of liver and kidney of the SD rats to various degrees. Histopathological exams showed that the target organs of Pb and Cd were testicle, liver, and kidneys. These observations suggest that Pb and Cd are practically additive-toxic for the SD rats in oral acute toxicity studies. The lowest observed adverse-effect level in rats may be lower than a dose of 29.96mg/(kg bw⋅day) when administered orally for 90 consecutive days.
... However, Zaccone et al. [16] found higher contents of this heavy metal in organic wheat (94 µg/g) versus that in conventionally grown wheat (82 µg/g). Finally, Karavoltsos et al. [25] have indicated that, although the majority of organic vegetables may have lower Pb content, organic agriculture as such does not necessarily reduce the content of this heavy metal in organically cultivated products. ...
... According to Karavoltsos et al. [25], organic agriculture could eventually lead to the production of foodstuffs with a lower heavy metal content, although organic agriculture as such is not able to secure low metal contents in its products. Our results show that this final content is also influenced by other factors such as soil, vegetable variety or even the presence of these elements in the air and in irrigation waters. ...
Article
Full-text available
Genotypes selected from 3 plant species (Brassica rapa, Eruca vesicaria and Sinapis alba) belonging to the Brassicaceae family were chosen to compare the concentrations of 9 inorganic elements (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Mn, Pb and Zn) in these varieties, that were grown under both conventional and organic conditions during two agricultural seasons (2018/2019 and 2019/2020) on two different experimental farms (Farm I and Farm II). We found that, together with agriculture practices, the inorganic element concentrations in Brassicas depended on many other factors, including soil characteristics. However, there were no conclusive results indicating a lower heavy metal content or a higher nutritionally beneficial trace elements content in vegetables grown under organic agriculture. Finally, a probabilistic assessment (@Risk) derived from the consumption of 150–200 g of these vegetables showed that organic Brassicas fulfill in comparison with the conventional ones, similar Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) percentages for Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn. Regarding heavy metals (Cd, Ni and Pb), we only found slight differences (mainly in the case of Pb) in the Tolerable Intakes (TI) between both cropping systems.
... Several techniques might be used for elemental determination in vegetables, such as inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) [13,14], ICP mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) [15], flame atomic absorption spectrometry (F AAS) [16][17][18][19][20][21], graphite furnace AAS (GF AAS) [22][23][24], and hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG AFS) [23]. These methods usually involve previous sample digestion and the use of high purity reagents. ...
... All the individual values can be found in the supplementary material.The concentration divergences of conventionally and organically grown vegetables can be caused by several factors: (i) differences in the uptake ability of the plants; (ii) using fertilizers and pesticides and their quantities; (iii) location of the crop, due to possible contamination by particulates; (iv) natural or anthropogenic presence of the elements in soil. Therefore, although it was not a topic of this investigation, soil analysis would be important in order to verify a possible contamination, although it is not trivial to determine whether it is the source or not[18,22,23,[41][42][43][44].Organic farming is sought because of the production care and the reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers. However, if the soil on which the plants are grown is not it has high metal content, it could lead to a contamination of the crop, resulting in plants equally or more contaminated compared to conventionally grown vegetables that use pesticides and fertilizers (major source of metal contamination) ...
Article
Simultaneous determination of nickel and iron in vegetables of Solanaceae family using high-resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry and direct solid sample analysis. Abstract A method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of Ni and Fe in vegetables of the Solanaceae family (bell pepper, tomato, potato, eggplant, physalis, and red pepper) using high-resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry and direct solid sample analysis (HR-CS SS-GF AAS). The vegetables were cultivated using both conventional or "organic" farming. The samples were lyophilized, milled, and the particle size was controlled using a 200 µm polyester sieve. The primary absorption line for Ni at 232.003 nm and a secondary line for Fe at 232.036 nm were used throughout the study. Pyrolysis and atomization temperatures for both analytes were 1400 °C and 2500 °C, respectively. The molecular spectrum of SiO appeared during atomization, and it was corrected using a least-squares algorithm. The calibration was carried out with aqueous standard solutions. The characteristic masses for Ni and Fe were 95 pg and 340 pg, respectively. The LODs of Ni and Fe were 0.02 µg g-1 and 2 µg g-1 , and the LOQs were 0.06 µg g-1 and 6 µg g-1 , respectively. The accuracy of the method was confirmed by analyzing a certified reference material of tomato leaves (SRM NIST 1573a). The concentrations of Fe were different for conventional and organic farming, whereas only one group of organically grown vegetables had higher Ni concentrations than the conventionally grown.
... These are the average values as literature shows both lower and much higher concentrations of Cd. For instance, Greek organic pork assessed by Karavoltsos et al. (2008), whereas Japanese pork shoulder tested by Kikuchi et al. (2002) contained less than 1.0 µg kg −1 of Cd. On the other hand, pork meat purchased from Tenerife, Spain showed Cd concentrations up to 13.24 µg kg −1 (González-Weller et al., 2006), pork meat from Germany up to 18 µg kg −1 (Müller et al., 1996), from Brazil up to 16 µg kg −1 (average 2.0 µg kg −1 ) (Batista et al., 2012) and from Poland 21 µg kg −1 (Falandysz et al., 1989). ...
... Because of high standard deviations, the differences in Pb concentrations between meat cuts were statistically insignificant. Generally, much lower Pb concentrations were reported in the literature (e.g. by Karavoltsos et al. (2008) in Greek organic pork meat (<8.0 µg kg −1 ), by González-Weller et al. (2006) in pork meat purchased from Tenerife, Spain (1.02-11.55 µg kg −1 , average 5.00 µg kg −1 ). ...
Article
The present study aimed at evaluating and comparing technological quality and selected safety aspects of commercial organic and conventional pork cuts. The technological value was determined on the basis of: pH value, centrifugation loss, cooking loss, drip loss, colour parameters (as measured with L*a*b* system), total heme pigments, and total heme iron. The meat safety was verified based on the content of nitrate, nitrite, cadmium, lead, total microbial count, number of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. The results indicated that organic meat had higher content of heme pigments and heme iron than conventional meat. The rearing system had no effect on the lightness. The organic loins and shoulders were redder and yellower than conventional ones. Neither organic nor conventional meat cuts were contaminated by pathogenic bacteria and nitrite/nitrate residues. Legal requirements concerning cadmium content were met for all the tested samples, whereas concerning lead only for organic loins.
... Many studies have determined Cd levels in leafy and nonleafy vegetables in different countries (see for example, Tripathi and others 1997; Voutsa and Samara 1998; Queirolo and others 2000; Turkdogan and others 2003; Kachenko and Singh 2006; Muchuweti and others 2006; Zheng and others 2007; Karavoltsos and others 2008; Mor and Ceylan 2008; Yan and others 2009). However, very little has been reported for Bangladeshi foods (Alam and others 2003; Naser and others 2009; Khan and others 2010), and the current study is the most comprehensive investigation of Cd levels in Bangladeshi food and nonfood materials that are consumed by humans. ...
... These results reveal that Bangladeshi vegetables sold in U.K. shops have higher Cd concentrations than the vegetables grown in the United Kingdom. A recent study in Greece analyzed organic foodstuffs and vegetables collected from a Greek market and determined their Cd levels (Karavoltsos and others 2008). The highest Cd concentration was found in leafy vegetables (15.4 μg/kg wet weight), which is very low compared to our results. ...
Article
Human exposure to cadmium (Cd) is associated with various diseases and high levels of Cd have been detected in Bangladeshi population warranting further research to identify the source of this exposure. In this study, Cd levels in 327 and 94 samples of Bangladeshi food and non-food samples, respectively, were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. This is the largest number of Bangladeshi food and nonfood samples investigated for their Cd content. High Cd levels were detected in leafy vegetables (mean 31 [SD 29]μg/kg). Of these vegetables, lal shak (Amaranthus tricolor) contained the highest Cd level (303 μg/kg [wet weight]; mean 100.5 [SD 95]μg/kg). Bangladeshi rice also showed significant concentration of Cd (mean 37.2 [SD 30]μg/kg). Of particular concern is the very high level of Cd detected in some puffed rice, which we attribute to the illegal practice of using urea for whitening the puffed rice. Tobacco leaves, which are commonly consumed during betel quid chewing by Bangladeshis, contain significant levels of Cd (mean 95 [SD 87]μg/kg). The total daily intake (TDI) of Cd from foods for Bangladeshis was estimated to be 34.55 μg/d. This is rather high when compared to the TDI of Cd for other populations. Our analysis reveals that this is mainly due to the very high intake of rice and vegetables, and lower consumption of animal products (which are low in Cd), by the Bangladeshis. We also determined the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake and target hazard quotients values for Cd. Clearly a more balanced diet is necessary to reduce the Cd intake in the Bangladeshi population, especially by reducing the very high intake of rice and certain leafy vegetables. Food manufacturing and agricultural practices needs to be altered to reduce the entry of Cd into the food chain.
... This included studies on wheat, oats, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, peach, lentils, and peas. 5,14,18,25 In contrast, a survey-based study by Jorhem and Slanina 11 reported inconsistent results for wheat, and a field experimental study by Rossi et al. 19 found significantly higher Cd levels in organically produced tomato. ...
... There are also some survey and experimental studies in which the Pb content in organic and conventional crops was compared. Rossi et al. 19 reported 4 times higher Pb concentrations in conventional compared to organic wheat produced in Italy, and Karavoltsos et al. 25 reported 60% higher Pb levels in conventional foodstuffs (which included both crop and livestock products) collected from a Greek market. In farm surveys in Denmark and Sweden no significant differences in Pb concentrations could be detected between organic and conventional wheat, onions, and peas. ...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of organic versus conventional crop management practices (crop rotation, crop protection, and fertility management strategies) on wheat yields and grain metal (Al, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) concentrations were investigated in a long-term field trial. The interactions between crop management practices and the season that the crop was grown were investigated using univariate and redundancy analysis approaches. Grain yields were highest where conventional fertility management and crop protection practices were used, but growing wheat after a previous crop of grass/clover was shown to partially compensate for yield reductions due to the use of organic fertility management. All metals except for Pb were significantly affected by crop management practices and the year that the wheat was grown. Grain Cd and Cu levels were higher on average when conventional fertility management practices were used. Al and Cu were higher on average when conventional crop protection practices were used. The results demonstrate that there is potential to manage metal concentrations in the diet by adopting specific crop management practices shown to affect crop uptake of metals.
... Nevertheless, other authors showed marked differences against organic production. For example, the mean cadmium content in organic cereals was 21.7 mg kg À1 versus 16.3 mg kg À1 found in cereal produced by the conventional method (Karavoltsos, Sakellari, Dassenakis, & Scoullos, 2008;Karavoltsos, Sakellari, Dimopoulos, Dassenakis, & Scoullos, 2002). Similarly, the average lead level in winter wheat at À100 mg kg À1 for organic farming versus 42.1 mg kg À1 for conventional cereal (Harcz et al., 2007) and semolina samples À94 versus 82 mg kg À1 (Zaccone, Di Caterina, Rotunno, & Quinto, 2010) show that lead levels were significantly higher in organically produced cereals. ...
Article
Lead and cadmium have become highly toxic metallic elements. There is an obvious toxicological impact of these elements on infants since their intestinal absorption is significantly higher than in adults, thus it is desirable to quantify lead and cadmium levels in commonly consumed infant foods. Zeeman background correction, transversely-heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, was used to determine both the lead and cadmium content of 91 Spanish infant cereals. Cereals were assessed in terms of different types, cereal predominant in formulation and whether it was obtained organically or conventionally. Preliminary analysis revealed a noticeably higher content of lead and cadmium (median, Q1–Q3) in organic cereals (n = 17, Pb: 26.07; 21.36–51.63; Cd: 18.52; 16.56–28.50 μg kg−1) in relation to conventional ones (n = 74, Pb: 10.78; 6.43–19.33; Cd: 7.12; 4.40–11.77 μg kg−1). Three formulations exceeded European lead maximum levels. Added ingredients (milk, cocoa, fruit and honey) to the cereal base provide lead enrichment. For cadmium, this pattern was observed by cereal based on cocoa, but also the raw materials contributed with a dilution phenomenon, decreasing the final cadmium concentration in infant cereal. Apart from several organically produced cereals, lead content showed a narrow variation, where gluten-free cereals provide lower cadmium content than formulations containing gluten. Dietary intakes of both elements were assessed in comparison with the reference intake values proposed by the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain. Organic infant cereals based on honey and cocoa supplied the highest risk intakes of lead and cadmium, respectively. In accordance with the actual state of knowledge on lead and cadmium toxicity and attending to the upper limits calculated from risk intake values set by EFSA, it seems prudent to call for a revision of both heavy metals content regulated by EC to set a maximum guideline values for infant cereal at 55 and 45 μg kg−1, respectively.
... The concentration of toxic metals in food is dependent on various factors, including the type of food(Demirezen and Uruç 2006;Karavoltsos et al. ...
Chapter
Chemical contamination of red meat arises via various routes and from different sources and can have negative effects on human health. This chapter discusses the origins, occurrence, transfer through the food chain and signifi cance for human health of the major chemical contaminants and residues in red meat. Analytical methods are also briefl y considered for certain contaminants. The selected chemical contaminants and residues are polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfl uorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfl uorooctanoic acid (PFOA), pesticides, toxic metals, and veterinary drugs.
... The results on the cadmium levels obtained in this research work were higher by about 80±10% compared to those reported by Liu et al. [15]. Different data were also presented by Karavoltsos et al. [16], and they appeared to be higher by about 40-60% for broccoli and cauliflower than those of the present study. However, the presented results showing a relatively low cadmium content in cauliflower agree well with the observations of Huang et al. [2]. ...
Article
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The contents of lead, cadmium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, nitrites, and nitrates were determined in six species of cabbage of the cruciferous family obtained from different areas of Poland. The results were analyzed and compared in terms of the effect of local industrial (southern Poland, Katowice) or agricultural (southeastern Poland, Lublin) activities on the amounts of heavy metals in the tested vegetables. While the levels of cadmium, lead, and manganese correlated well with the different industrial levels of the locations, the concentrations of copper, iron, and zinc in the vegetables were not very different between the two cities. All the vegetables could generally be characterized by low levels of cadmium and lead (less than 0.1 mg·kg-1), and relatively high levels of zinc, iron, and manganese (3-10 mg·kg-1) regardless of location. Among the tested vegetables, Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis Rupr) from Katowice consistently gave higher levels of all the analyzed elements (except zinc) than the same vegetable from Lublin, while the other specimens produced variable data. Red cabbage turned out to contain the highest levels of all contaminants compared to other vegetable species. Nitrate levels in all the Lublin samples were approximately equal, suggesting that the extensive fertilization in the Lublin area produces a uniform background level of these anions. On the other hand, the Katowice samples exhibited quite variable and extreme levels of nitrates and nitrites.
... W warzywach z upraw ekologicznych z Grecji stwierdzono w ziemniakach 11,8±2,8, a w marchwi 27,9±10,3 mg/kg s.m. Z kolei warzywa z upraw konwencjonalnych z rynku greckiego zawierały w ziemniakach 15,6±2,7, a marchew 29,3±5,9 mg/kg s.m. [38]. Dotychczasowe badania nie wykazały, aby ołów pełnił jakiekolwiek niezbędne funkcje w organizmach żywych. ...
... Karavoltsos 2008, determined that in Greek commercially available potatoes the concentration of Pb is 11.8 ng/g ± 2.8 and Cd-8.6 ng/g ±2.7 [18]. ...
... Food safety problems observed recently in the world such as dioxins in poultry and milk and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, combined with public awareness of the impact of environmental pollution on nutrition and with environmental issues in general provoked a major dietary conversion towards organically produced food (Chryssohoidis & Krystallis 2005). As a consequence, the so-called organically produced agricultural and animal products market is constantly expanding (FAO 2000, Karavoltsos 2008). Problems aroused from contaminated soils are currently an important issue, which deleteriously affect terrestrial and aquatic communities (Moore et al. 2004, Snape et al. 2004. ...
... As we know, cadmium (Cd), a nonessential trace transition metal, is a carcinogen and a possible mutagen [3]. The impact of Cd on human and animal health is now increasingly recognized [4][5][6]. ...
Article
A random sample of pairs of animal feeds and manures were collected from 215 animal barns in Beijing and Fuxin regions of China. The concentrations of Cd in manures and feeds ranged from non-detectable to 129.8 mg/kg dry weight and non-detectable to 31 mg/kg dry weight, respectively. The concentrations of Cd in pig, dairy cow and chicken manures were positively correlated to those in their feeds. About 30% of the manure samples contained Cd concentrations higher than the upper limit for use in farmlands, and pig and chicken manures might be the primary contributors of Cd to farmlands. The farmlands in Beijing and around the Fuxin Downtown areas would exceed the soil quality criteria within several decades according to current manure Cd loading rates. Undoubtedly, more scientific animal production and manure management practices to minimize soil pollution risks are necessary for the two regions.
... There was not enough data for statistical comparison, but the organic berries appeared to have a Pb content in the range of traditionally produced berries. In Greece, certified organic goods had lower Cd and Pb levels than traditionally produced ones, but noncertified organic products had a higher heavy metal content than either of the other groups, which was assumed to stem from the soil and placement of noncertified farms (Karavoltsos et al. 2008). ...
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(Evira Research Reports 2/2015. Publication available at: http://www.evira.fi/portal/en/about+evira/publications/?a=view&productId=426) Heavy metals, either from natural levels in the environment or from pollution, end up in foods. This risk assessment determined the dietary (food and tap water) exposure of Finnish children aged 1 to 6 years to cadmium, lead, arsenic and mercury, as well as the cumulative effect of the metals. Control and project sample results (1995 to 2013), in addition to consumption data produced by the DIPP consortium, were used in the assessment. The exposure to mercury is at a safe level. For a part of each studied age group, the exposure to other heavy metals exceeds the limits considered safe, although to a lower extent than previously assessed in European studies. This risk assessment also determined that the new maximum permissible levels for rice, chocolate and cocoa, and baby foods will reduce the median exposure for different heavy metals by 1–10%. Cadmium and lead are found in nearly all foods. Levels in cereal products are low, but they are an important source due to high use. Rice tends to accumulate arsenic more than other cereals, and it is an important source despite its lesser use. A varied and diverse diet will help to minimize exposure to heavy metals.
... This suggests that different human populations have different toxicological risks associated with exposure to cadmium through horsemeat consumption. The concentrations of cadmium in beef and pork were lower compared with horsemeat (Khalafalla et al., 2011), often below detection limit (Karavoltsos et al., 2008; Table 2). Thus, high cadmium concentrations might be regarded as a safety issue, specifically related to horsemeat. ...
Article
In some countries, use of horsemeat as a food is inhibited by ethical and cultural concerns. However, horsemeat has potential health benefits, such as low fat and high unsaturated fatty acid content compared with other meats, as well as attractive sensory properties. Although there are many contradictory data on the dietary value in relation to human health, the effects of horsemeat have not been studied to a large extent. In this paper, we summarise existing knowledge on horsemeat quality and effects on human health. Our conclusion is that horsemeat may be consumed as a healthy alternative to other types of meat, provided that risks associated with microbial contamination during storage and possible presence of contaminants in horsemeat are taken into consideration. Future studies should evaluate the health‐promoting properties and safety of horsemeat and associated byproducts.
... Another study in Izmir, Turkey reported high levels of nickel beyond their safe limits in drinking water (34). Equally, a study in Greece, revealed high levels of nickel in drinking water from various regions of Greece (35). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that nickel is a widespread component of Earth's surface found in all environmental compartments and is ubiquitous in the biosphere (36). ...
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Background: One of the factors impeding access to safe water is water pollution. Of particular concern is heavy metal contamination of water bodies. This study was aimed at determining the levels of heavy metals in drinking water sources of Chingola District of Zambia. Methods: A cross sectional study was employed. A total of 60 water samples were collected. Thirsty (30) samples were collected in the dry season in the month of October 2016 and another 30 in the wet season in the months of February and March, 2017. For each season 10 water samples were collected from each of the three water sources. i.e. Tap water, Urban ground water sources and Rural ground water sources. Heavy metal analysis was done using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). Results: This study revealed that the concentrations of Iron, Manganese, Lead, Nickel and Arsenic were beyond maximum permissible levels in various water sources. Combined averages for both dry and wet seasons were as follows: Iron: 2.3, Copper: 0.63, Cobalt: 0.02, Manganese: 0.36, Lead: 0.04, Zinc:3.2, Nickel: 0.03, Arsenic: 0.05. Chromium and Cadmium were below detection limit in all water samples. The median concentrations of iron, arsenic, copper, manganese in drinking water from the Tap, rural and urban ground water sources were different, and this difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). The median concentrations of arsenic, nickel, manganese and cobalt were different between dry and wet season, and this difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusions: Sources of heavy metals in water seems to be both natural and from human activities. The concentration of heavy metals in different water sources in this study was found to be above the recommended levels. This calls for improvement in water monitoring to protect the health of the public. Therefore, there is need for continuous monitoring of heavy metals in drinking water sources by regulatory authorities.
... In Greece there is no systematic monitoring of pollutants in organic cereals and their derived products and reports in the literature are scarce (Karavoltsos et al. 2002(Karavoltsos et al. , 2008Tsoumbaris and Tsoukali-Papadopoulou 1994). Moreover, they are focused mainly on the study of a single contaminant at a time giving only partial information about the extent of the contamination. ...
Article
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The aim of the present work was to report on the occurrence of contaminants and trace elements in organically grown commercial cereal products, available in the Greek market. Moreover, the level of contamination of domestic organic cereals was compared with that of imported ones. To this end, the level of contamination by heavy metals (Pb, Cd), nitrates, trace elements (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Ni, Co) and mycotoxins (aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin, and T-2) were reported. Seventy-six organic cereals and derived products of domestic and imported origin were tested including rice, barley, oat, wheat, maize and two samples made of a mixture of grains. The levels of contamination were calculated and compared to the recommended or regulated maximum levels. The maximum levels were exceeded for lead (2), cadmium (1), aflatoxins (4), and ochratoxin (1). Contamination of samples by nitrate was below the allowed level. The level of contamination in domestic organic samples was similar to that of imported ones, except for cadmium with imported samples being more contaminated. The findings of this study are important in terms of risk to human health, but they do not support nor reject the hypothesis that organic cereals are less contaminated than the conventional ones.
Article
Concentration levels of 26 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and 20 trace elements were measured in diet food samples, in order to estimate the dietary intake and the potential exposure risk of the Greek population. Dietary samples were collected with the help of 30 volunteers inhabitants of Athens, Greece, according to the duplicate portion study (DPS) protocol method where the determination of the compounds is conducted in the final consumed meal. DPS was selected as an alternative to a total diet study for its feasibility, low cost and realistic image that provides. PAHs determination was performed by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) and trace elements determination by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The estimated mean daily dietary exposure on 26 PAHs for an adult was estimated at 101.47 ng kg⁻¹ body weight day⁻¹, while the moderate to low exposure was related to the type and amount of food consumed. Exposure levels to PAHs concern no possible risk for the health of the study group. For toxic, potentially essential and/or essential trace elements the daily exposure calculated for Greek population was in accordance with the reference values of the health-based guidances and compared to previous diet studies reported for the population of other countries was in generally similar to the lower bound exposure.
Article
The aim of the present study was to compare lead and cadmium contents in cruciferous vegetables grown under diversified ecological conditions for three consecutive years, independently of the climatic and agrotechnical conditions. The research was conducted in the Cracow region of Poland and tests vegetables near the Steelworks, from ecological farms, and from local markets. The heavy metal contents were determined using the validated Atomic Absorption Spectrometry method, including electrothermal atomization, with an ET-AAS graphite cuvette (Varian AA240Z, made by Varian). Cruciferous vegetables cultivated in the areas surrounding the steelworks were characterized by alarmingly high lead content versus ecological and commercially available vegetables, while the contents of this metal in vegetables from the two latter locations did not differ. It cannot be definitively stated that the origin of vegetables influenced their cadmium content.
Conference Paper
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Az egészségtudatos élet és az ehhez kapcsolódó táplálkozás közel fél évszázada hívta életre az organikus gazdálkodást, melynek eredményeként egyre több biotermék kerül a fogyasztók asztalára. A táplálkozási betegségek megelőzésében egyre fokozottabb szerephez juthatnak az organikus gazdálkodásból származó élelmiszerek. Napjainkban azoknak a biotermékeknek van biztos piaca, melyek valamilyen speciális értékekkel rendelkeznek, amit keres és megfizet a vásárló. Ilyen speciális értéknek számít a beltartalmi összetétel, amennyiben igazolható az egészségvédő, betegségmegelőző hatása. Jelenleg a kereskedelemben kapható biotermékeken nem szerepel sem fajtamegjelölés, sem beltartalmi jellemzés, holott a vásárlók részéről igény lenne arra, hogy több információval rendelkezzenek az áruról. Ezen hiánypótlásra is lehetőséget ad kutatási tevékenységünk. A fajtához, termőhelyhez, beltartalmi összetevőkhöz kötődő értékek nemcsak magasabb árat, hanem biztos értékesítési lehetőséget is jelentenek. Az innováció fontos és újszerű célja a termelők és a fogyasztók szemléletének megváltoztatása. A termelők részéről speciális technológiai ismeretekre van szükség ahhoz, hogy az agrotechnika minden elemével a speciális termék minőségét szolgálják, az egészségtudatos vásárlónak pedig ismerni kell a speciális biotermék betegség-megelőző, egészségvédő hatását. Ahhoz, hogy ez a szemléletváltozás meginduljon, az eddiginél sokkal nagyobb nyilvánosságot kell kapnia a biotermékek egészségvédő hatásának. A termőhelyhez kötődő fajták értékeinek megismertetése része kell, hogy legyen egy kisebb régió, kistérség, vagy község gazdaságfejlesztési stratégiájának. A fentiekből adódóan az egészséges organikus (hazai használatban BIO) élelmiszerek és élelmiszer-alapanyagok kutatása, előállítása ma egyre inkább – így hazánkban is – előtérbe kerül. Ezt indokolják a tudomány mai eredményei, a várható egészségmegőrző és befolyásoló élettani hatások és az egyre differenciáltabb fogyasztói igények. Különösen igaz ez, ha abból indulunk ki, hogy a posztgenomiális érában (azaz az emberi DNS-genom szekvenciájának megfejtését követően) megszületett az un. nutrigenomika, azaz egyre inkább indokolt tudni, hogy az elfogyasztott táplálékaink miként befolyásolják az emberi szervezetet, meg tudjuk –e előzni, vagy befolyásolni a patológiás állapotokat, és javítani tudjuk –e életminőségünket. A táplálkozás, az egészséges élelmiszerek a hagyományos és a kiegészítő orvoslás, a fejlett országokban már létrejött un. integrált terápia részét képzik. A válasz pedig az ilyeneket tartalmazó funkcionális-, bio- és terápiás élelmiszerekben van. A pályázat célja az organikus gazdálkodás magyarországi szervezeteivel, a Biokultúra Szövetséggel, a Magyar Ökogazdálkodók Szövetségével és a Biokontroll Hungária Nonprofit Kft-vel együttműködve az Észak-Aldöldi régióra jellemző, az itteni biogazdálkodók által jelentős volumenben termelt organikus termékek és ugyanazon hagyományos termékek beltartalmi és jellemző in vitro élettani adatainak meghatározása és összehasonlító elemzése volt, egy hazai organikus fajtaadatbázis megalapozása céljából, egy olyan új szolgáltatási, fajtaválasztási tanácsadási rendszer létrehozása, amely a szaktanácsadás területén egy teljesen új piaci szegmens kialakítását jelenti.
Article
Organically produced, harvested, and dried fruit samples bought at organic markets in Kayseri, Turkey have been analyzed for their trace element contents. In the determinations, flame atomic absorption spectrometer (FAAS) was used. This pilot study is the first to be performed for organically produced, harvested, and dried fruit samples from Kayseri, Turkey. The copper, iron, manganese, and zinc concentrations were found to be 1.6-15.5, 10.3-144, 23.0-211, and 23.3-91.6 μg/g, respectively. The cobalt, lead, cadmium, chromium, and nickel concentrations in all analyzed organic fruit samples were below the quantification limits of FAAS. SRM 1570A spinach leaves and SRM 1515 apple leaves were used to check the accuracy of the procedure. The results for the dried fruit samples found in this work were compared with the values from some studies from the world. The results found in the presented work may also be useful for future studies about organically produced, harvested, and dried fruit samples.
Article
Exposure to toxic metals from fruits is an important pathway of human exposure to soil pollutants, but few researches on metals accumulation in the soil–fruit system were performed. In this study, we conducted a systemic survey of Cd and Pb accumulations in the soil–mango (Mangifera indica L.) system from an uncontaminated area, Hainan Island, China. Results indicated that concentrations of Cd and Pb in the soil were controlled by the parent materials, with concentrations ranging from 0.019–0.21 μg g− 1 for Cd and 8–63 μg g− 1 for Pb in total and from 0.003–0.059 μg g− 1 for Cd and 0.8–7.0 μg g− 1 for Pb in labile fractions, respectively. The concentrations of Cd and Pb in the mango fruits showed ranges of 0.3–4.2 and 0.8–209 ng g− 1 (FW), respectively, which varied significantly between cultivars. The transfer factors (TFs) of metals from soil to fruit showed significant differences between cultivars, from 0.01 to 0.025 for Cd and from 0.001 to 0.0019 for Pb. The ANOVA and correlation analyses indicated that the variations of metal in the fruit depended on the difference of cultivars, while the variations of metal concentrations within cultivar were controlled, to some extent, by the soil metal levels. Our finding suggests that the use of the individual cultivar to assess the soil metal bioavailability or metal transfer ability from soil to plant may be more precise than the use of different cultivars. Quantitative chemical analysis was performed using flame or graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy.
Article
Food safety is a key issue for the modern consumer who is often exposed through diet to a variety of hazardous agents. The presence of chemical contaminants in food is an important risk factor with potential serious consequences in consumer's health. Therefore, assessing the extend of consumer's exposure to chemical contaminants is an important parameter in the context of food hazard analysis. Dietary exposure is determined by correlating the eating habits of a population group with the levels of contaminants in food. The purpose of this study was to assess the dietary exposure of the general population to a variety of chemical contaminants by combining questionnaire-based food consumption data with concentration of certain chemicals in foodstuffs. In a sample of 403 people living in Thessaly, their nutritional habits were recorded using the Nutrition Frequency Questionnaire, through a telephone interview. Regarding the data collection on the residues of various chemical pollutants (toxic metals, mycotoxins, biotoxins, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, veterinary drugs) in foodstuffs of the Greek market, studies and reports from 2000 to 2020 were used. The combination of the daily consumption of food and beverages, with their contamination concentrations in chemical pollutants, led to the assessment of the dietary intake of chemical pollutants. The analysis of the results showed that the examined sample maintains several elements of the Mediterranean diet, such as the daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products. Chemical contaminants in food produced/marketed in Greece were generally below the acceptable limits, while cereals, fish, fruit, vegetables and alcohol seem to contribute mostly to the human chemical exposure. Gender and age affected the overall dietary intake of pollutants, with women presenting the highest overall nutritional exposure compared to men in all categories of pollutants. Elderly individuals (ages +65) showed a higher, in general, intake of the contaminants evaluated. This study reveals the necessity for monitoring the levels of various chemical contaminants in all food groups, in order to have a valid base of assessing the risk of human exposure.
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Trace elements (TEs) are chemical compounds that naturally occur in the earth’s crust and in living organisms at low concentrations. Anthropogenic activities can significantly increase the level of TEs in the environment and finally enter the food chain. Toxic TEs like cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury have no positive role in a biological system and can cause harmful effects on human health. Ingestion of contaminated food is a typical route of TEs intake by humans. Recent data about the occurrence of TEs in food available in the Mediterranean countries are considered in this review. Analytical methods are also discussed. Furthermore, a discussion of existing international agency regulations will be given. The risk associated with the dietary intake of TEs was estimated by considering consumer exposure and threshold values such as Benchmark dose lower confidence limit and provisional tolerable weekly intake established by the European Food Safety Authority and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, respectively. Finally, several remediation approaches to minimize TE contamination in foodstuffs were discussed including chemical, biological, biotechnological, and nanotechnological methods. The results of this study proved the occurrence of TEs contamination at high levels in vegetables and fish from some Mediterranean countries. Lead and cadmium are more abundant in foodstuffs than other toxic trace elements. Geographical variations in TE contamination of food crops clearly appear, with a greater risk in developing countries. There is still a need for the regular monitoring of these toxic element levels in food items to ensure consumer protection.
Chapter
The production of organic foods, one of the most important branches of ecological agriculture, has developed rapidly all over the world. In addition to paying attention to sustainable organicproductionmodesandprotectionoftheenvironment,peoplehaveastronginterestin the quality of organic food. Focusing on the nutrition and safety differences of organic and conventional food, a wide range of research in the world has compared conventional and organic agricultural systems. The field of food quality has drawn much attention regarding differences between conventional and organic foods. This chapter aims at assessing past research that focuses on the comparison of the nutrients and contaminants present between organically and conventionally produced agricultural foods.
Article
The results of the studies comparing quality and safety of organic and conventional foods are ambiguous and often contradictory. An exception is higher contents of ascorbic acid in some organic products compared with the corresponding conventional foods. Some studies suggest a nutritionally more favourable composition of fatty acids in organic dairy products, which, however, is not a consequence of organic farming but of the diet composition. Many organic foods are more frequently contaminated with mycotoxins than conventional foods. A lower occurrence of pesticide residues in organic foods is irrelevant from the viewpoint of health effects because the intake of pesticides in conventional foods is less than 1 % of the acceptable daily dose. The differences between organic and conventional foods in the markers of nutritive value and safety, and a possible effect on human health are mostly too small to be detected. An exception is a lower eczema risk in infants after consumption of organic dairy products. Sensoric quality of organic foods is the same or lower than that of conventional foods.
Article
In washed spinach, a maximum Cd concentration of 0.20 mg/kg fresh weight (FW) is allowed according to European regulations. Producers experience that this concentration can sometimes be exceeded even on soils with baseline Cd concentrations. There is a growing need to quantify the factors determining Cd uptake in the crop in order to anticipate the risk of exceedance when selecting a field for cultivation. Interseasonal variation in precipitation may be one of the factors influencing Cd uptake by crops. A pot experiment was set up where spinach plants were subject to different watering regimes. Treatment with more limited water supply during periods of high demand resulted in significantly higher accumulated Cd concentrations (0.25–0.31 versus 0.17–0.23 mg/kg FW). Concentrations at or above the maximum allowed limit were of concern, considering that the soil used in the experiment originated from a typical field in an agricultural region without any specific contamination. Probabilities to exceed maximum concentrations in the different watering regimes were estimated using Monte Carlo simulation. Results suggested that the watering regimes significantly determine the effective risk of exceeding the maximum concentrations. Their effects may be of high practical importance in the field.
Article
The contents of cadmium were detennined in plant products cultivated in the neighborhood of the Glogów (n=127) and Legnica (n=18) copperworks. The contents were recorded using the atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) method after dry mineralization, and cadmium was extracted to isopropylacetone. The results were compared with the acceptable levels established in Europe. The content of cadmium ranged between 0.0-76.0% of allowable values. The exceeded content of cadmium was found only in one sample.
Chapter
A relationship between different species of elements in dietary products and their bioavailability from that source is very important to human safety and wholesomeness. Analytical methods outlined in this report are based on solid phase extraction with polymeric ion exchange resins and other nonionic sorbents can be applied for fractionation analysis of elements in a number of food products and beverages. Their attractiveness mostly lies in simplicity of solid phase extraction operation, versatility, and diversity of available sorbents and possibility of insight into chemical nature of element forms due to different sorption mechanisms served by these sorbents. This article surveys two main means of partitioning of elements by solid phase extraction, including procedures with single sorbents or two coupled sorbents. Attention is also drawn to operational character of fractions of species distinguished and evaluation of possible groups of species of elements. Sample pretreatment and quality assurance and control of results of fractionation analysis achieved using the mentioned solid phase extraction schemes are highlighted.
Article
Chemical contamination of red meat arises via various routes and from different sources and can have negative effects on human health. This chapter discusses the origins, occurrence, transfer through the food chain and significance for human health of the major chemical contaminants and residues in red meat. Analytical methods are also briefly considered for certain contaminants. The selected chemical contaminants and residues are polychlorinated dibenzo-. p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), pesticides, toxic metals, and veterinary drugs.
Article
Amid the traditional development and applications work reported during the period covered by this review, the most obvious identifiable trend is that of downsizing. This is seen with techniques requiring smaller sample sizes or more effective analyte pre-concentration, and with new instrumentation. Procedures for extraction included the use of nanoparticles in various ways and the single-drop methodology with one example exploiting 1-dodecanol, a material that shifts between liquid and solid states at around room temperature. Hand held instrumentation is commonplace in some application areas but less so within the sector covered by this Update. However an XRF device was used to carry out limit tests for harmful metals in pharmaceutical agents. The potential for expansion of in vivo testing is now on the horizon with the development of a portable XRF instrument. Other features to mention are the larger than usual number of topics reviewed and the publication of several reference ranges for trace elements in biological fluids and also results from market-basket surveys. Application areas that were mentioned more than usual were studies involving the brain, CSF and neural function, and measurements of iodine including one method that involved vapour generation for ICP-AES. New approaches to establishing the authenticity of foods and food labelling were reported and examples of discrepancies between amounts measured and the stated contents were identified. A new writer, John Marshall, is welcomed to the team with primary responsibility for preparing the foods and beverages table.
Chapter
The internet is rife with biased and unsubstantiated claims from the organic industry, and the treatment of issues such as food safety and quality by the media ("if it bleeds, it leads") tends to have a negative impact on consumer perceptions about conventional food. Until recently, more and more consumers in many countries were opting to buy organic food over conventional food, resulting in a radical shift in food retailing. This was due to concerns over chemical residues, food poisoning resulting in recalls, food scares such as "mad-cow" disease, issues like gene-modified (GM foods), antibiotics, hormones, cloning and concerns over the way plants and animals are being grown commercially as food sources. As a result there has been an expansion of the organic industry and the supply of organic foods at farmers' markets, supermarkets and specialty stores. Effects of Organic Production on Food Quality is the first comprehensive book on how organic production methods influence the safety and quality of foods, based on an unbiased assessment of the latest scientific findings. The title is a 'must-have' for everyone working within the food industry. Comprehensive explanation of organic production methods and effects on the safety and quality of foods Authoritative, unbiased and up-to-date examination of relevant global scientific research Answers the questions of whether organic food is more nutritious and/or more healthy.
Article
Global organic agriculture and consumption of organic food has continuously increased over the past decades. The aim of the research was to determine and compare cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) concentrations in organic and conventional root and tuber vegetables from the Serbian market. Samples of three root and tuber vegetables commonly consumed in Serbia, including potatoes, carrots and beetroots, were collected at two green markets and four supermarkets in the territory of the city of Belgrade, Serbia. Concentrations of Cd and Pb in fresh weight were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Mean concentrations of Cd and Pb in two types of vegetables were compared by the t-test. Cd and Pb concentrations in both types of vegetables were below allowable limits. Potato mean Cd concentration was significantly lower in the organic than in the conventional type (0.021 mg kg-1 and 0.037 mg kg-1, respectively). In carrots, it was the opposite, Cd concentration was higher in the organic type, but the difference was not significant either between the two types or for beetroots. Results indicated lower Pb levels in organic potatoes and beetroots, and higher Pb levels in organic carrots, but differences between means were not significant in all tested vegetables. Obtained results are not conclusive, but they indicate lower or similar concentrations of both metals in organic vegetables in comparison to conventional types.
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The contents of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, aluminium, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, selenium, zinc, cadmium and lead in cereal products, fruits and vegetables were analysed and the results were compared with those obtained 30 years previously in food samples from Finland. There were significant changes in the trace elements. In most cases trace elements contents are now lower than before. Only the selenium content of foods had clearly increased in Finland, through the use of selenium-supplemented fertilizers. There was a change in average mineral element content only for potassium, whose content was significantly lower than in the middle of the 1970s. We found that trace element density in vegetable foods has decreased over the past three decades. Per capita daily intakes of mineral elements in the 2000s were lower than in the 1970s, although the consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased since 1970s.
Article
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The desire for a sustainable agriculture is universal, yet agreement on how to progress towards it remains elusive. The extent to which the concept of sustainable agriculture has any operational meaning is discussed. Sustainability is considered in relation to organic farming — a sector growing rapidly in many countries. The role of regulation and the use of synthetic agrochemicals, the desired degree of self reliance of agricultural systems, and the scale of production and trade in agricultural goods are all considered in the context of this discussion of sustainability.
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The demand for organic foods is constantly increasing mainly due to consumers' perception that they are healthier and safer than conventional foods. There is a need for information related to food safety to inform consumers of the health benefits and/or hazards of food products of both origins, in order to optimise the impact on health and minimise the risks. Several gaps and limitations in scientific knowledge with regard to food risk evaluation make it difficult to draw generalised conclusions. Still, some organic foods can be expected to contain fewer agrochemical residues and lower levels of nitrate than conventionally grown alternatives. On the other hand, environmental contaminants are equally present in foods of both origins. With regard to other food hazards, such as natural chemicals, microbial pathogens and mycotoxins, no clear conclusions can be drawn, although several interesting points can be highlighted. It is difficult, therefore, to weigh the risks, but what should be made clear to consumers is that 'organic' does not equal 'safe'. If producers adopt proper agricultural practices and consumers maintain hygienic conditions, risks associated with food contaminants can be minimised, regardless of the food's organic or conventional origin.
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Due to the growing interest in organic products, a comparison between the chemical safety of organic and conventional products was undertaken. Milk and meat were the products chosen for study. The parameters evaluated to assess chemical safety were organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, cadmium and mycotoxin contamination. Pesticides and PCBs residues in both organic and conventional milk and meat were lower than legal limits. Lead and cadmium residues were very low and did not differ between organic and conventional products. However, aflatoxin M1 contamination in some but not all samples of organic milk was significantly higher than those of conventional milk, although factors other than organic production might be implicated.
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The development of the organic farming has to be based on scientific and objective data and not on empirical idea. Available nutritional data are reviewed upon the vegetable's composition coming from biological methods in agriculture and conventional methods: it seems necessary to obtain complementary and up-to-date inquiries. The potential interest for consumers' health also has to be studied. The literature's data are reviewed, particulary about nitrates, nitrites and pesticides: the conclusion for the public health are not evident. The essential benefit should be based on the greatest nutritional density in micronutriments. Beyond the economical and agricultural aspects, the organic agriculture is of interest for nutritionnists.
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This review is concerned with the summary and evaluation of the results from more than 150 investigations comparing the quality of conventionally and organically produced food or of foods produced with the aid of different fertilisation systems. Cereals, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, wine, beer, bread, cakes and pastries, milk, meat, eggs and honey, as well as products made from them, have been included in the review. Most of the studies evaluated are physico-chemical investigations of concentrations of desirable and undesirable ingredients, pesticide residues, contaminants, sensory analyses and feed experiments with animals. Nutritional studies in humans and experiments which used holistic methods of analysis are also included. Since different methods of sampling were used in the investigations, a summary evaluation of individual results is extremely difficult. Even when the sampling methods are of the same type, a great many factors have to be taken into consideration which are not directly related to the production system but which do influence food quality to a large degree. Despite the heterogeneity of the sample material, some differences in quality between products from conventional and organic farming or foods produced with the aid of different fertilisation systems have been identified. © 1997 SCI
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The effect of organic cultivation systems on the level of Cd in wheat was studied in two consecutive harvests. Additionally, the concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cr and Zn were analysed in single harvests of rye, carrots and potatoes from different farming systems. Wheat and rye were obtained from controlled field trials using several conventional and ecological systems at two separate locations in Sweden. Potatoes and carrots were collected at private farms with conventional or ecological production. These farms were juxtapositioned and had similar soil properties. The levels of Cd in the wheat did not correlate with the cultivation system or the Cd content in the soil. Conventionally grown wheat from one field trial showed a significantly higher Cd level compared with ecologically grown wheat, while in the other field trial significantly lower Cd levels were detected in the conventionally grown wheat. No statistically significant differences in the concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cr or Zn in rye, carrots and potatoes were detected between the cultivation systems. The results indicate that organic farming, at least in the short term, does not necessarily result in reduced levels of Cd and other potentially harmful metals in foods of vegetable origin. Factors other than cultivation system may be of greater importance for the final concentration of Cd and other metals in plant foods.© 2000 Society of Chemical Industry
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The control of heavy metals in such a way that soil functioning and product quality are not impeded is a prerequisie to sustainable agricutture. The current status of heavy metal accumulation in agricultural soils differs widely by region, by metal, and by agricultural system; levels of concern have already been reached in several regions (for instance, in the Netherlands and Australia). An analysis of the input and output fluxes of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in agriculture and of their resulting accumulation in agricultural soils is necessary to define strategies that ensure sustainable management of these metals in agricultural systems. In this article, general aspects of heavy-metal balance studies are described for the agricultural sector within the broader context of substance flow analysis and industrial ecology. The approach chosen in this study is both precautionary and related to actual problem areas.
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In this paper we examine the way that knowledge is distributed within economic networks. Adopting a broad evolutionary approach we examine the distribution of economic knowledge within two food chains: the conventional food chain, which relies on intensive inputs into the food production process, and thus tends to distribute knowledge towards input suppliers, and the organic food supply chain, which distributes knowledge back towards the farm as farmers must relocalise their understandings of the production process. We present two stylised accounts of each chain and show that for farmers to move from one to the other they must forget many of the practices so characteristic of the conventional chain in order to (re)learn how to farm in an ecologically benign fashion. In the organic chain, we argue, farmers can once again become “knowing agents”.
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This paper investigates the state-of-the-art of organic food with respect to the law (certification, inspection, and labelling), the market, the customer, and organic food itself.In spite of research work carried out on different aspects of organic food, there is not yet a method/methods for routine use in authentication of organic food products. The issues of organic food safety and potential nutritional benefits are also under study as controversial claims.Research work to support and meet the needs of farmers and markets concerning claims on authenticity, safety and nutritional values of organic crops is necessary and discussed in this paper.
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This paper goes through the chemical risks able to affect the organic and the conventional agro-food products. For each type of contaminant a tentative assessment has been made in considering not only the levels of exposure but also the toxicological data when available. When comparing both production systems with regards to food safety, it appears that, for the well-known toxicants (pesticides, nitrates), organic products present some clear advantages, but it is also recognized that natural toxicants need to be better identified within this mode of production. Environmental and food processing contaminants are present in both organic and conventional products. It is recommended to improve the monitoring programmes by paying more attention to the mode of production as well as to the whole array of relevant contaminants.
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An LCA was performed on organic and conventional milk production at the farm level in Sweden. In the study, special focus was aimed at substance flows in concentrate feed production and nutrient flows on the farms. The different feeding strategies in the two forms of production, influence several impact categories. The import of feed by conventional dairy farms often leads to a substantial input of phosphorus and nitrogen. Organic milk production is a way to reduce pesticide use and mineral surplus in agriculture but this production form also requires substantially more farmland than conventional production. For Swedish conditions, however, a large use of grassland for grazing ruminants is regarded positively since this type of arable land use promotes the domestic environmental goals of biodiversity and aesthetic values.
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A sample of 947 subjects completed a questionnaire assessing attitudes and beliefs towards the consumption of organic fruits and vegetables. A section of the questionnaire was aimed at assessing the role of trust on perception of risks and benefits associated with pesticides on foods. The subjects tended to hold positive attitudes towards eating fruits and vegetables produced by organic agriculture. The component attitude was found to be a significant predictor of intention to eat organic fruits and vegetables. Intention was found to have a good and significant effect on self-reported consumption. Trust had a positive influence on perceived benefits and a negative influence on perceived risks. Significant relationship was found among perceived benefits and risks associated with pesticides. The results of the cluster analysis indicated the presence of a group of subjects who had less positive attitudes towards organic fruits and vegetables, perceived less risks and more benefits associated with pesticides.
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There has been considerable growth in the number of organic farms, including livestock, in the EU over the last few years. Livestock production, and especially ruminant livestock production, forms an integral part of many organic farms due to its role in nutrient recycling on farms. In 14 out of 16 European countries, livestock products were within the top five organic products. The recent development of organic farming represents the penetration of important aspects of recent major changes in society at large into agriculture. The development can be attributed to increased consumer interest in organic products while, at the same time, farmers are interested in converting to organic production methods, often stimulated by government support or subsidies. It is important that the organic production systems can fulfil the expectation of each of these stakeholders if organic livestock production is to increase further. This is discussed in detail. It is argued that organic livestock production in future will be carried out by farmers who are committed to organic ideals and, therefore, it is important that new livestock systems are developed which comply to a higher degree with these ideals. The consumer’s interest in organic farming seems mainly to be related to care of their own health and the environmental impact of agriculture, but also to considerations of animal welfare. Large regional differences also exist as regards consumers’ priorities. In European countries and the EU support for organic farming is justified as an element in stimulating/regulating the agricultural sector to be more supportive of rural development, diversifying production, and reducing the environmental load of agriculture. The different priorities in different regions in Europe reflect the different concerns as regards agricultural development in the individual regions. In central and Eastern European countries there is also growing interest in organic production methods, mainly because these systems are expected to offer a more profitable and sustainable production system based on low input. So it appears that organic livestock production systems have to reflect different expectations. Livestock rearing should contribute to more balanced overall farm production, food safety (in a broad sense) should be enhanced, and animal welfare should be improved compared to conventional production methods. Also, the systems should support rural development, nature conservation, and the environmental load should be low. The success of the expansion of organic systems will depend on how far these different expectations can be fulfilled without resulting in the premium prices of the products being too high. Research, development, and advisory service have major roles in supporting the development of such a livestock system, which addresses major current societal concerns. There probably is a need for better interaction between mainstream agricultural research and research groups specializing in areas of importance for organic farming.
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Procedures for the electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometric determination of lead and cadmium in urine, serum and blood are developed. For serum and blood, the samples are diluted by incorporating 0.015% (w/v) Triton X-100 and 0.1% (w/v) ammonium dihydrogenphosphate to the solutions, which are then introduced directly into the furnace. A solution containing 15% (w/v) hydrogen peroxide and 0.65% (w/v) nitric acid is also introduced into the atomizer by means of a separate injection. Zeeman-based correction is recommended. Both conventional and fast-heating programs are discussed. Calibration is carried out using the standard additions method. The reliability of the procedures is checked by analyzing three certified reference materials and by recovery studies.
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The list of values (LOV) typology, which has been extensively used in personal values research, makes the distinction between external (relations-oriented or interpersonal) and internal (self-directed––or personal––and apersonal) values. The present survey employs confirmatory factor analysis to test and validate the LOV scale in an organic food consumers’ context in Greece. The structure of the LOV scale (external and internal values) is proven to repeat itself in this context. Internal values, such as “self-respect” and “enjoyment of life” (personal and apersonal respectively), are found to be the main motivators behind the purchase of organic products in Greece, corresponding to the motives of healthiness and better taste of the organic products. Simultaneously, external (interpersonal) values, such as “belonging”, corresponding to the motive of environmental protection through organic cultivation, are deemed of lesser importance. Additionally, a value-based segmentation task identified a number of organic-consumer clusters with clear-cut LOV structure, which possibly explains their diversified attitudinal and socio-demographic profile. Finally, valuable insights are offered regarding organic consumers’ exploratory food buying behaviour.
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Results of an interlaboratory study are reported for the determination of lead in urine. Two levels of a lyophilized material containing biologically-bound lead were prepared using pooled urine obtained from lead-poisoned children undergoing the CaNa2EDTA mobilization test. The materials were circulated to a group of reference laboratories that participate in the `New York State Proficiency Testing Program for Blood Lead'. Results of the initial round-robin gave all-method consensus target values of 145±22 μg/l (S.D.) for lot 17 and 449±43 μg/l (S.D.) for lot 20. The interlaboratory exercise was repeated some 5 years later and consensus target values were re-calculated using the grand mean (excluding outliers) of results reported by laboratories using electrothermal atomization atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS). The re-calculated target values were 139±10 μg/l (S.D.) and 433±12 μg/l (S.D.). The urine reference materials were also analyzed for lead by several laboratories using other instrumental techniques including isotope dilution (ID), inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry (MS), flame atomic absorption with extraction, ICP-atomic emission spectrometry, ID-gas chromatography MS and flow injection-hydride generation AAS, thus providing a rich source of analytical data with which to characterize them. The materials were also used in a long-term validation study of an ETAAS method developed originally for blood lead determinations that has since been used unmodified for the determination of lead in urine also. Recently, urine lead method performance has been tracked in a proficiency testing program specifically for this analysis. In addition, a number of commercial control materials have been analyzed and evaluated.
Article
The control of heavy metals in such a way that soil functioning and product quality are not impeded is a prerequisite to sustainable agriculture. The current status of heavy metal accumulation in agricultural soils differs widely by region, by metal, and by agricultural system; levels of concern have already been reached in several regions (for instance, in the Netherlands and Australia). An analysis of the input and output fluxes of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in agriculture and of their resulting accumulation in agricultural soils is necessary to define strategies that ensure sustainable management of these metals in agricultural systems. In this article, general aspects of heavy-metal balance studies are described for the agricultural sector within the broader context of substance flow analysis and industrial ecology. The approach chosen in this study is both precautionary and related to actual problem areas.
Article
The lead and cadmium content of 20 species of edible vegetable collected in Tarragona Province (Spain) was investigated. Samples consisting of bulbs, and leaves and soft stalks (chard, parsley, spinach and lettuce) contained the highest levels of both metals. In contrast, fruits and similar garden produce (tomato, green pepper, cucumber, artichoke, green bean and broad bean) contained the lowest concentrations of lead and cadmium in both the northern and southern area of the province. Most species analyzed did not show any significant differences between the two study areas. The mean daily intakes of lead and cadmium by man have been estimated to be: 47.5 micrograms Pb and 15.3 micrograms Cd (north), and 37.5 micrograms Pb and 32.5 micrograms Cd (south). These values do not pose a health risk for consumers, according to the levels proposed by FAO/WHO.
Article
The organic foods industry is booming: by one estimate, the market for organic foods is worth $4 billion annually and is expected to grow at a rate of more than 24% per year. Faced with the threat of pesticide exposures and other food safety problems, many consumers are turning to organic foods in hopes of finding a healthy alternative, but there is currently no consistency in organic food labeling and no guarantee that foods labeled as organic are actually grown and processed in a purely organic fashion. There is also controversy about whether the label "organic" covers such new technologies as irradiation and genetic engineering. As part of the 1990 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to develop a proposed rule on organic foods. The rule would regulate the allowable methods, practices, and substances used in producing and handling crops and their processed products. The first draft of the proposed rule, released in December 1997, met with unprecedented opposition, which centered around the fact that the proposal appeared to virtually ignore the recommendations of a standards board formed to assist in the rule's development. Other criticism opposed three practices put forward for comment by the USDA: irradiation, genetic engineering, and the use of sewage sludge in farming. Due to the vehemence of the opposition to its original proposal, the USDA has decided to rewrite the proposed rule. In preparation for that proposal, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service released three issue papers in October 1998 for public comment. The 10,000-plus comments received in response to those papers will be incorporated into the second draft proposal, due out later this year.
Article
To survey existing literature comparing nutrient content of organic and conventional crops using statistical methods to identify significant differences and trends in the data. Published comparative measurements of organic and conventional nutrient content were entered into a database for calculation. For each organic-to-conventional comparison, a percent difference was calculated: (organic - conventional)/conventional x 100. For nutrients where there was adequate data, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to identify significant differences in nutrient content as represented by the percent difference. Mean percent difference values were also calculated for each significant nutrient by study and by vegetable for the most frequently studied vegetables. The nutrient content of the daily vegetable intake was calculated for both an organic and conventional diet. Organic crops contained significantly more vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus and significantly less nitrates than conventional crops. There were nonsignificant trends showing less protein but of a better quality and a higher content of nutritionally significant minerals with lower amounts of some heavy metals in organic crops compared to conventional ones. There appear to be genuine differences in the nutrient content of organic and conventional crops.
Article
Input of Cd to arable soils occurs mainly through atmospheric deposition and mineral fertilisers. Phosphate fertilisers are often contaminated with Cd. In organic farming the use of mineral fertilisers is restricted. The impact of conventional and organic farming on Cd and Zn levels in tissues from dairy cows was studied. Kidney, liver, muscle and mammary tissue samples were collected at slaughter from 67 cows, aged 30-95 months, in a project with conventional and organic production at the same farm. Samples were analysed by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry with a quality control programme. Significantly lower levels of Cd were found in cows from the organic system (n = 29) than from the conventional cows (n = 38) in kidney [330 +/- 100 (mean +/- s) micrograms kg-1 vs. 410 +/- 140], liver (33 +/- 15 vs. 44 +/- 19) and mammary tissue (0.38 +/- 0.14 vs. 0.59 +/- 0.37), while there were no differences in muscle (0.48 +/- 0.13 vs. 0.49 +/- 0.14). Organic cow kidneys had lower Zn levels than conventional cows (19 +/- 1.4 mg kg-1 vs. 20 +/- 2), whereas muscles had higher Zn levels than conventional cows (67 +/- 16 vs. 51 +/- 12). Cd and Zn in mammary tissue were positively related to age and milk production. There was a positive relationship between levels in kidney of Cd and metallothionein (MT) and a Cd/MT concentration ratio indicating protection from Cd-induced renal dysfunction. When older animals, that entered the project as milk-producing cows, were included the differences in kidney and liver Cd levels between the systems were no longer significant, while Cd in kidney became related to age- and production-related parameters. The change of significant relationships when older animals were included shows the importance of controlled conditions for environmental monitoring.
Article
The aim was to compare the levels of contamination in organic and conventional raw materials. To this end, the level of contamination by heavy metals (lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury), nitrates and nitrites, and some mycotoxins were monitored. Fifteen products were tested in their organic and conventional forms, including meat, milk, eggs, vegetables and cereals. The median levels of contamination were calculated and compared with the recommended or regulated maximum levels. The maximum levels were exceeded for lead in organic carrots and buckwheat, and in conventional wheat; for cadmium, in both organic and conventional buckwheat; for nitrates, in organic spinach; and for patulin in organic apples. Moreover, contamination of both conventional and organic wheat by deoxynivalenol was observed with a higher level in organic products. However, the health risk for consumers might be real only for the contamination by mycotoxins as the contaminated foods (apples, wheat) are the main contributors to total exposure.
Article
The total chromium content of a wide variety of Greek foods was determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS). Meat, fish and seafood, cereals and pulses were rich sources of chromium (>0.100 microg/g). Fruits, milk, oils and fats and sugar were poor sources. Differences in chromium content were found between different food classes from Greece and those from some other countries. Based on available food consumption data and chromium levels in this study, it was estimated that the chromium intake of Greeks is 143 microg/day, with vegetables, cereals and meat being the main contributors.
Article
Determinations of the cadmium content of a wide variety of foodstuffs from the Greek market were carried out. The values detected ranged from <0.1 ng x g(-1) in alcoholic beverages to 1595.8 ng x g(-1) in large snails. The highest values were observed in molluscs and crustaceans (117.4 ng x g(-1)), followed by leafy vegetables (28.3 ng x g(-1)), potatoes (22.3 ng x g(-1)) and organs and offal (20.7 ng x g(-1)), whereas the other food categories had a lower cadmium content. The results are comparable with those from the rest of Europe. Preliminary analytical data on the cadmium content of food samples of organic cultivation showed significantly lower values compared with those of samples of conventional produce.
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Heavy metal content of some vegetables farmed by both conventional and organic methods
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Procida, G., Pertoldi Marletta, G., & Ceccon, L. (1998). Heavy metal content of some vegetables farmed by both conventional and organic methods. La Rivista di Scienza dell'Alimentazione, 27, 181–189.
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Sector study on biological cultivations – biological products Business research firm ICAP Does organic farming reduce the content of cadmium and certain other trace metals in plant foods? A pilot study
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Organic farming in Greece
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Organic Agriculture. Committee on Agriculture
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Heavy metal content of some vegetables farmed by both conventional and organic methods
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Food safety and quality as affected by organic farming
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Organic: What’s in a name?
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Survey of lead content in foodstuffs from the Greek market
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Bad Dürkheim (D) and Frick (CH)
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