Background: Spices with ability to accumulation of heavy metals grown in various regions of the world have been used for several purposes such as flavorings and condiments for culinary and even use as drugs for patient's treatment since ancient times. Therefore, this study was carried out to analysis and assessment of health risk of Zn and Cd in cinnamon, black pepper and chili marketed in city of Hamedan in 2015.
Methods: After preparation of 18 specimens of each spices and acid digestion of the samples according to standard methods, the concentration of Zn and Cd in samples were measured with the flame and graphite furnace techniques, respectively using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) in 3 replicates. Also, all statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS statistical package.
Results: The results showed that the minimum and maximum mean concentrations of metals in spices samples for Zn (mg/kg) were 0.43±0.10 and 0.60±0.14, related to cinnamon and chili, respectively and for Cd (mg/kg) were 0.02±0.01 and 0.03±0.01, related to cinnamon and black pepper, respectively. Also the mean concentrations of metals in spices samples were lower than WHO maximum permissible limits (MPL), and health risk assessment showed that no potential risk for children and adult by consume the studied spices.
Conclusion: The controlled consumption of spices has not adverse effect on the consumers’ health, but due to the lack of adequate information about processing conditions, habitat adjacent to industrial areas and polluted with heavy metals, increased use of agricultural inputs, sewage sludge and wastewater by farmers, regular periodic monitoring of chemical pollutants content specially heavy metals in foodstuffs are recommended for food safety.