Levels of Heavy Metals in Pasta Available in the Nigerian Market: Assessing the Human Health Implications

Janefrances Ngozi Ihedioha, Irene Mfoniso Atiatah, Nwachukwu Romanus Ekere, Jonnie Niyi Asegbeloyin


The concentrations of some heavy metals were determined in some pasta consumed in Nigeria, with a view to providing information on their dietary intake and exposure of consumers. The metals were determined by atomic spectrometry after acid digestion.  The  results (µg/g) were in the following ranges: locally manufactured pasta: Ni (0.005 - 0.738); Mn (0.2 - 1.938); Cd (Nd to 0.015); Cu (nd - 0.456); Zn (0.071 – 2.902); Pb (0.278 - 0.692); Cr (nd - 0.206) while imported pasta concentrations were: Ni (0.039 – 1.301); Mn (Nd - 1.515);  Cd (Nd – 1.059); Cu (nd - 0.333); Zn (nd - 2.024); Pb (0.313 – 1.085); Cr (Nd - 0.233). The estimated daily intakes of these pastas were below the tolerable daily intake limits of the metals stipulated by FAO/WHO and JECFA. The hazard quotient and total hazard index (THI) values were less than 1 indicating no adverse health effect. However, THI in imported macaroni was appreciable.


Dietary intake; Heavy metals; Nigeria; Locally manufactured; Imported; Pasta; Hazard quotient; Target hazard index

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