Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 381–388 | Cite as

Heavy metals and trace elements levels in milk and milk products

  • Arafa M. S. Meshref
  • Walaa A. Moselhy
  • Nour El-Houda Y. Hassan
Original Paper


Milk and dairy products are an important food in the human diet. The present investigation was carried out to determine concentrations of lead, cadmium, zinc, copper and iron in milk and dairy products and evaluate the potential health risks of metals to humans via consumption of milk and dairy products. A total of 77 samples of milk and dairy products (22 raw milk, 20 kareish cheese, 21 butter and 14 rice pudding) were collected from farms, individual farmers and dairy shops in Beni-Suef governorate, Egypt. Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu and Fe concentrations in milk and dairy products ranged from 0.044–0.751, 0.008–0.179, 0.888–18.316, 0.002–1.692 and 1.3208–45.6198 ppm respectively. Pb concentration in all samples exceeded the maximum permissible limit (0.02 mg/kg) established by codex standard. Pd and Cd intake through milk and dairy products consumption were 1.27 and 0.33 μg/kg bw/day, which represent 35.3 and 39.8 % of the tolerable daily intake. Dairy products are poor sources of iron, copper and zinc, and milk contributes little to the total iron and zinc intake. Target hazard quotient values of less than 1 indicate a relative absence of health risks associated with the consumption of milk and dairy products.


Milk Cheese Heavy metals Trace elements Risk 



The authors are grateful to Dr. Mohammed Abd Elgaid (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University) for his help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arafa M. S. Meshref
    • 1
  • Walaa A. Moselhy
    • 2
  • Nour El-Houda Y. Hassan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt

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