Lead: A Silent Menace in Household Spices of India?

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in monitoring the heavy metal Lead (Pb) concentration in spices. Spices can improve the taste of food and can also be a source of many bioactive compounds, but, unfortunately, can also be contaminated with potentially dangerous substances like the heavy metal lead (Pb).

Publication Type

Research Article

Experts

Dr. I. Mazumdar, Prof. K. Goswami

Time Frame

2014

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Description

This study was conducted to investigate Pb contamination in selected spices commonly consumed in India. Samples of Black Pepper powder, Chat Masala, Chili powder, Curry powder, Garam Masala and Turmeric powder from 15 selected stores across Kolkata, India, were collected using the Market Basket survey method and tested using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry for the level of Pb in each sample. Samples were found to have Pb levels below the FAQ/WHO levels of 0.3μg/gm except for Turmeric powder and Chili powder. The highest levels of Pb was found in Chili powder and Turmeric powder, which greatly exceeded the permissible amounts. Since these spice powders have widespread and very common uses across India, chronic and long term exposure can lead to elevated blood lead levels and cause hazardous accumulation of Pb in body.

Additional information

Publication Type

Research Article

Experts

Dr. I. Mazumdar, Prof. K. Goswami

Time Frame

2014