Fruits and vegetables are considered a beneficial contribution to the human diet. Especially, berries contain a great deal of bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins, organic acids, tannins, phenols, and antioxidants. Apart from organic substances, inorganic nutrients are also present in fruits. Some metals and metalloids are essential for humans, whilst others may exhibit harmful effects. Wild grown berries, collected in so-called unpolluted areas, are considered to be free of any potentially toxic ingredients. However, due to transmission processes pollutants can also reach remote areas and, furthermore, metal uptake from the soil via roots has to be taken into account. Thus, the presented study focused on the determination of Al, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Pb in lingonberries, blueberries, and rose hips collected in a non-polluted area in Croatia. Neither Cd nor Cr could be found in any sample. Ni levels were mainly up to 25 mg/kg, in a comparable range to the literature data. No health threat is to be expected by eating these fruits and berries regarding Cd, Cr, and Ni. Rose hips, however, contain Pb beyond the stipulated limit in fruits, and also Al is present at a high level (8 mg/g).
aluminium; blueberries; cadmium; chromium; lead; lingonberries; nickel; provisional tolerable intake; rose hips
Toxics. 2018 Jun 8;6(2). pii: E31.