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Trace Element Levels in Vegetable Sausages and Burgers Determined by ICP-OES


The consumption of vegetable sausages or hamburgers is growing. The consumption of this type of product has increased exponentially in recent years for two main reasons: the rejection of meat consumption and the search for healthier foods. Vegetable sausages are relatively new products on the market and, as with other foods, they may contain trace elements, both essential and toxic. Thus, the objective of this work is the determination of the content of trace elements (B, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sr, V, Zn, Al, Cd, Pb) in 67 samples of vegetable sausages and burgers (27 samples of vegetable sausages and 39 samples of vegetable burgers) by means of ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry). The highest trace element levels were found in the sausage’s samples, which remarkably are the Fe (14.1 mg/kg wet weight), Al (5.10 mg/kg ww), and Pb (0.05 mg/kg ww) content. Meanwhile, the levels of Zn (8.35 mg/kg ww), Mn (5.04 mg/kg ww), and Sr (2.77 mg/kg ww) were higher in burger’s samples. The dietary exposure reveals that the consumption of 100 g/day of these products offers an important intake of Fe, Mn, and Cu. About the toxic trace elements, the consumption of the vegetable sausages (100 g/day) represents an intake of 14.6% of the TDI (tolerable daily intake) of Pb and sets in 0.5 μg/kg body weight/day. The consumption of 100 g/day of vegetable sausages and burgers does not pose a health risk. However, a higher consumption can carry a risk; for that reason, it is necessary to set a maximum level of certain elements in this kind of products.

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Correspondence to Ángel J. Gutiérrez.

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Padrón, P., Paz, S., Rubio, C. et al. Trace Element Levels in Vegetable Sausages and Burgers Determined by ICP-OES. Biol Trace Elem Res 194, 616–626 (2020).

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  • Trace elements
  • Dietary exposure
  • Risk assessment