Human exposure assessment to macro- and trace elements in the most consumed edible seaweeds in Europe

  • Soraya Paz
  • Carmen Rubio
  • Inmaculada Frías
  • Gara Luis-González
  • Ángel J. GutiérrezEmail author
  • Dailos González-Weller
  • Arturo Hardisson
Research Article


Seaweed consumption has increased considerably in Europe as a result of new trends in food. The macroelement (Na, Ca, K, Mg) and trace element (B, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sr, V, Zn) levels in different species of edible brown seaweeds were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). European Himanthalia elongata species had the highest recorded concentrations of K (57480 mg/kg dry weight). Asian Undaria pinnatifida species had the highest Fe content (58.8 mg/kg dw). Five grams/day of dehydrated seaweed of the Asian U. pinnatifida species mainly contributes to the admissible daily intake of Mg (9.32% adults) and Na (7.05% adults). In any case which exceeds the maximum intake values of any of the elements analyzed, the macro- and trace element levels can vary considerably in a short period of time, so it is necessary to assess the toxic risk in edible seaweeds.


Risk assessment Edible seaweeds Macroelements Trace elements ICP-OES 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toxicology AreaUniversity of La LagunaTenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Health Inspection and Laboratory ServiceCanary Health ServiceTenerifeSpain

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