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Evaluation by ICP-MS of Essential, Nonessential and Toxic Elements in Brazilian Fish and Seafood Samples

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2012.39165    4,927 Downloads   7,531 Views   Citations


Fish is considered one of the healthiest foods due to the high levels of several important cardioprotective compounds such as long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. However, due to widespread environmental pollution, high levels of contaminants may also be present in fish and seafood samples, which may counteract the beneficial effects of consumption of this food. With this in mind, the aims of this study were: 1) to examine both toxic and essential chemical elements in seafood and river and sea fish samples sold in different Brazilian regions by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS); 2) to estimate the daily intake of these chemical elements by Brazilians. The toxic elements Ba, Cd, Pb, Sr, V and Sb were found in higher concentrations in seafood than in either sea or river fish, while As concentrations were higher in both seafood and sea fish than in river fish. On the other hand, Hg levels were higher in river and sea fish. Concentrations of the essential chemical elements Co, Mn, Cu, Fe, Mg, Zn and Mo were significantly higher in seafood compared with both sorts of fish except for Se, whose levels were similar in seafood and sea fish. Daily intake of all chemical elements was estimated on the basis of a calculation of the amount of fish consumed by Brazilian households (mean fish and seafood consumption of 11.0 g/person/day). The amount of toxic element in fish and seafood did not represent a risk for the Brazilian people. Moreover, fish and seafood seem to be a good source of selenium.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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D. Grotto, B. Batista, M. Carneiro and F. Barbosa Jr., "Evaluation by ICP-MS of Essential, Nonessential and Toxic Elements in Brazilian Fish and Seafood Samples," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 9, 2012, pp. 1252-1260. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.39165.


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