Heavy metal, nutrient and antioxidant status of selected fruit samples sold in Enugu, Nigeria

Unaegbu, M. and Engwa, G.A. and Abaa, Q.D and Aliozo1, S.O. and Osuji, G.A. and Onwurah, E.I. (2016) Heavy metal, nutrient and antioxidant status of selected fruit samples sold in Enugu, Nigeria. International Journal of Food Contamination.

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Background: Heavy metals, which constitute a major public health concern, are known to accumulate in food and fruits during plants growth. Fruits which are readily consumed because of their characteristic sweet taste and potential health benefits stand a major risk of heavy metal intoxication. Hence, this study assessed some fruits commonly sold in Enugu, Nigeria for their nutrients, antioxidant potential and possible contamination with lead, cadmium and Nickel. Results: All the ten fruits of five species (apple, pineapple, orange, watermelon and banana) analysed contained glucose, sucrose and phosphates. The fruits were generally acidic with pH ranging from 3.34 to 5.07. South African water melon had the highest pH of 5.07 while the lowest was Nigerian pineapple (3.34). The acidity was generally low, with the highest acid concentration recorded in Nigerian pineapple (0.54 %) while American apple had the lowest acid concentration of 0.07 %. Ascorbic acid was present in all the fruit samples and was highest in oranges and pineapples. All the fruit samples possessed antioxidant activity to scavenge H2O2 but did not correlated (p=0.973) with the ascorbic acid level. Cadmium and lead were non detectable in all the fruit samples but nickel was detectable in seven samples between 0.03 and 0.09 mg/L. The Nickel level of Egyptian orange, Nigerian orange, Nigerian banana and South African water melon were slightly above the 0.07 mg/L maximum contaminant level of United State Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organisation. Conclusion: The fruits are safe for consumption and do not constitute a risk of heavy metal intoxication to warrant public health concern. Keywords: Fruits, Heavy Metals, Nutrients, Antioxidants, Sugars, Acids, Enugu, Nigeria

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences
Depositing User: GOUNI ICT
Date Deposited: 05 May 2018 19:19
Last Modified: 05 May 2018 19:19
URI: http://eprints.gouni.edu.ng/id/eprint/10

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