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Physicochemical properties and some heavy metal content in some spices and seasonings sold in a market near Obajana Cement Company Kogi State, Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (7), Pages 9-15, July,22 (2017)


Seasonings and spices are used daily and frequently to enhance the taste of meals. Their use may be of concern because they may be contaminated by heavy metals during cultivation, processing and handling. There is therefore the need to ascertain the safety of the spices/seasonings added as additives to meals as often as possible. A total of 10 samples, each a composite were randomly sampled from the sellers at Obajana central market in Kogi State. The levels of iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and nickel (Ni) in the samples were processed and determined using atomic absorption spectrometry. The physicochemical properties were determined using the pH meter, oven and muffle furnace. Findings revealed that the spices and seasonings were slightly acidic except potash with average pH of 10.5±3.5. The result of the analysis showed that the average values of Cd of 0.50 mg/kg, 0.35 mg/kg and 0.33 mg/kg in ginger, potash and pepper respectively exceeded regulatory standard limits. All other metals concentration of spices and seasonings are within the regulatory standard. Therefore, the seasonings/spices when consumed will pose no threat to human health. This also shows that the cement factory located at Obajana do not have negative impact on food items at the market at least for now.


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