Determination of Elements in Indigenous Vegetables Using ICP-MS

  • Bashdar A. Sadee (1) Department of Food Technology, College of Agricultural Engineering Sciences, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region-Iraq; (2) Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Keywords: Indigenous vegetables‎, heavy metals‎, validation, microwave acid digestion, ICP-MS‎


Heavy metal concentrations were determined in indigenous vegetables collected in Erbil city-Kurdistan region of Iraq. ICP-MS was applied to determine total concentrations of Al, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se and Zn in Malva parviflora, Gundelia tournefortii, Arum spp, Spinacia oleracea,  Mentha longifolia, Beta vulgaris subsp, Apium graveolens, Lepidium sativum L, Allium Kurrat. Schweinf and Allium fistulosum   after acid digestion of the samples with the aid of  microwave using nitric acid/ hydrogen peroxide. The contents of heavy metals in vegetable samples varied between 40-451 for Al, 0.04-0.96 for Co, 53-247 for Fe, 3.37-11.58 for Mn, 0.26-5.53 for Ni, 0.09-0.98 for Se and 1.58-4.41 for Zn on the basis of dry weight. The methodology was validated by certified reference material (CRM) GBW10015-spinach and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis.  The levels of Al, Mn and Ni in some investigated vegetables are higher than the permissible limits for human consumption.


Download data is not yet available.


Y. N. Jolly, A. Islam and S. Akbar. Transfer of metals from soil to vegetables and possible health risk assessment. Springerplus, vol. 2, pp. 385, 2013.

A. Kabata-Pendias and A. B. Mukherjee. Trace Elements from Soil to Human. Berlin: Springer Science and Business Media, pp. 10-11, 2007.

P. C. Nagajyoti, K. D. Lee and T. Sreekanth. Heavy metals, occurrence and toxicity for plants: A review. Environmental Chemistry Letters, vol. 8, pp. 199-216, 2010.

C. O. Ogunkunle, P. O. Fatoba, O. O. Awotoye and K. S. Olorunmaiye. Root-shoot partitioning of copper, chromium and zinc in Lycopersicon esculentum and Amaranthus hybridus grown in cement-polluted soil. Environmental and Experimental Biology, vol. 11, pp. 131-136, 2013.

R. A. Wuana and F. E. Okieimen. Heavy metals in contaminated soils: A review of sources, chemistry, risks and best available strategies for remediation. International Scholarly Research Notices, Vol. 2011, pp. 1-20, 2011.

J. Hu, F. Wu, S. Wu, Z. Cao, X. Lin and M. H. Wong. Bioaccessibility, dietary exposure and human risk assessment of heavy metals from market vegetables in Hong Kong revealed with an in vitro gastrointestinal model. Chemosphere, vol. 91, pp. 455-461, 2013.

Y. Yang, F. S. Zhang, H. F. Li and R. F. Jiang. Accumulation of cadmium in the edible parts of six vegetable species grown in Cd-contaminated soils. Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 90, pp. 1117-1122, 2009.

O. D. Uluozlu, M. Tuzen, D. Mendil and M. Soylak. Assessment of trace element contents of chicken products from Turkey. Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 163, pp. 982-987, 2009.

J. Falandysz, A. Frankowska and A. Mazur. Mercury and its bioconcentration factors in King Bolete (Boletus edulis) Bull. Fr, Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, vol. 42, pp. 2089-2095, 2007.

M. Tüzen. Determinaton of heavy metals in fish samples of the Middle Black Sea (Turkey) by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Food Chemistry, vol. 80, pp. 119-123, 2003.

G. C. Kisku, P. Pandey, M. P. S. Negi and V. Misra. Uptake and accumulation of potentially toxic metals (Zn, Cu and Pb) in soils and plants of the Durgapur industrial belt. Journal of Environmental Biology, vol. 32, pp. 831-838, 2011.

I. U. Adams and I. U. Happiness. Quantitative specification of potentially toxic metals in expired canned tomatoes found in village markets. Natural Sciences, vol. 8, pp. 54-58, 2010.

E. Russom, G. Kfle, G. Asgedom and T. Goje. Heavy metals content of spices available on the market of Asmara, Eritrea. European Journal of Nutrition and Food Safety, vol. 11, pp. 156-163, 2019.

K. Steenland and P. Boffetta. Lead and cancer in humans: Where are we now? American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 38, pp. 295-299, 2000.

A. Maleki and M. A. Zarasvand. Heavy metals in selected edible vegetables and estimation of their daily intake in Sanandaj, Iran. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, vol. 39, p. 335, 2008.

G. Kfle, G. Asgedom, T. Goje, F. Abbebe, L. Habtom and H. Hanes.The Level of Heavy Metal Contamination in Selected Vegetables and Animal Feed Grasses Grown in Wastewater Irrigated Area, around Asmara, Eritrea. Journal of Chemistry, vol. 2020, pp. 1-15, 2020.

B. A. Sadee, M. E. Foulkes and S. J. Hill. Obesity before, during, and after pregnancy: A review and comparison of five national guidelines. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A, vol. 33, pp. 433-441, 2016.

O. D. Uluozlu, M. Tuzen, D. Mendil and M. Soylak. Assessment of trace element contents of chicken products from Turkey. Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 163, pp. 982-987, 2009.

G. F. Nordberg, B. A. Fowler and M. Nordberg. Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Academic Press, 2014.

World Health Organization. Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme (Codex Alimentarius Commission) 39th Session Rome, Italy, 27 June-1 July 2016 and Report of the 10th Session of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: World Health Organization, 2016.

M. M. Ododo and B. K. Wabalo. Determination of Selected Metals in Leaf and Root Bark of Malva Parviflora. Journal of Natural Sciences Research, vol. 9, pp. 1-6, 2019.

A. Chehregani and B. E. Malayeri. Removal of heavy metals by Sadee: Determination of elements in indigenous vegetables using ICP-MS native accumulator plants. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology (Pakistan), vol. 9, pp. 462-465, 2007.

M. Turan, S. Kordali, H. Zengin, A. Dursun and Y. Sezen. Macro and micro mineral content of some wild edible leaves consumed in Eastern Anatolia. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B Plant Soil Science, vol. 53, pp. 129-137, 2003.

M. Tuncturk, T. Eryigit, N. Sekeroglu and F. Ozgokce. Chemical composition of some edible wild plants grown in Eastern Anatolia. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products, vol. 2, pp. 31-34, 2015.

A. Mohamed, M. Rashed and A. Mofty. Assessment of essential and toxic elements in some kinds of vegetables. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, vol. 55, pp. 251-260, 2003.

H. Shirkhanloo, M. K. Abbasabadi, F. Hosseini and A. F. Zarandi. Nanographene oxide modified phenyl methanethiol nanomagnetic composite for rapid separation of aluminum in wastewaters, foods, and vegetable samples by microwave dispersive magnetic micro solid-phase extraction. Food Chemistry, vol. 347, p. 129042, 2021.

G. Somer, Ş. Kalaycı and O. Şendil. A new and direct method for the determination of trace elements in spinach using differential pulse polarography. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, vol. 778, pp. 49-52, 2016.

M. Bigdeli and M. Seilsepour. Investigation of Metals Accumulation in Some Vegetables Irrigated with Waste Water in Shahre Rey-Iran and Toxicological Implications. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental, vol. 4, pp. 86-92, 2008.

R. P. Choudhury, A. Kumar and A. Garg. Analysis of Indian mint (Mentha spicata) for essential, trace and toxic elements and its antioxidant behaviour. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, vol. 41, pp. 825-832, 2006.

P. Ekholm, H. Reinivuo, P. Mattila, H. Pakkala, J. Koponen, A. Happonen, J. Hellström and M. L. Ovaskainen. Changes in the mineral and trace element contents of cereals, fruits and vegetables in Finland. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, vol. 20, pp. 487-495, 2007.

L. Jorhem and G. Haegglund. Aluminium in foodstuffs and diets in Sweden. Zeitschrift für Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und-Forschung, vol. 194, pp. 38-42, 1992.

I. Koca and B. Tasci. Mineral Composition of Leek. In: VII International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae, No. 1143, pp. 147-152, 2015.

How to Cite
Sadee B. Determination of Elements in Indigenous Vegetables Using ICP-MS. cuesj [Internet]. 6Mar.2022 [cited 28May2022];6(1):26-1. Available from:
Research Article