In the present paper, seven heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cr and Fe) in canned salmon, sardine and tuna fish were determined by using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Cadmium and lead levels were determined by graphite tube AAS whereas Ni, Cu, Cr and Fe were determined by flame AAS. Analytical results were validated by spiking the samples with various concentrations of these metals for recovery. The metal contents, expressed in μg/g, wet weight, varied depending upon the specie studied. The levels of Pb ranged from 0.03–1.20 μg-g−1 with an average of 0.313 μg-g−1 for salmon; 0.03–0.51 μg-g−1 with an average of 0.233 μg-g−1 for tuna and 0.13–1.97 μg-g−1 with an average of 0.835 μg-g−1 for sardines. The levels of Cd ranged from 0.02–0.38 μg-g−1 with an average of 0.161 μg-g−1 for salmon; 0.07–0.64 μg-g−1 with an average of 0.227 μg-g−1 for tuna and 0.010–0.690 μg-g−1 with an average of 0.183 μg-g−1 for sardines. Comparative evaluation of these metals in three varieties of fish showed that average concentration of lead in sardines is about 4 times and Ni about 3 times higher as compared to tuna. Generally, the levels of these metals follow the order sardine > salmon > tuna. The data generated in the present study compared well with the similar studies carried out in different parts of the world. The results indicate that canned fish, in general and tuna in particular, have concentrations within permissible limits of WHO/FAO levels for these heavy metals. Therefore, their contribution to the total body burden of these metals can be considered as negligibly small.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ashraf, W.: 2005, ‘Accumulation of heavy metals in kidney and heart tissues of Epinephelus microdon fish from the Arabian gulf’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 101, 311–316.
Aucoin, J., Blanchard, R. and Billiot, C.: 1999, ‘Trace metals in fish and sediments from Lake Boeuf, South Eastern Louisiana’, Microchem. J. 62, 299–307.
Baumgartner, T. R. and Soutar, A.: 1992, ‘Reconstruction of the history of pacific sardine and northern anchovy populations over the past two millennia from sediments of Santa Barbra basin, California’, California Coop. Fish. Invest. Rep. 33, 24–40.
CIFA (Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa): 1992, ‘Report of the third session of the working party on pollution and fisheries’, FAO Fisheries Report No. 471, United Nations, Rome.
DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security): 1980, ‘Lead and health: Report of a DHSS working party on lead in the environment’, HMSO, London.
Dick, J. and Pugsley, L. I.: 1950, ‘The arsenic, lead, tin, copper, and iron content of canned clams, oysters, crabs, lobsters, and shrimps’, Can. J. Res. 28(F), 199–201.
Dudek, J. A., Elkins, E. R., Burman, S. C., Egelhofer, D. and Hagen, R. E.: 1989, ‘Effects of cooking and canning on the mineral content of selected sea foods’, J. Food Comp. Anal. 2, 273–285.
El-Hraiki, A., Kessabi, M., Sabhi, Y. and Benard, P.: 1992, ‘Contamination of sea food products by cadmium, chromium, mercury and lead in Morocco’, Rev. Med. Vet. 143, 49–56.
Enomoto, N. and Uchida, Y.: 1974, ‘Cadmium and other heavy metal contents in marine products from Ariake Sea and in canned goods on the market’, Saga Daigaku Nogaku Iho 35, 69–75.
FDA.: 2000, ‘Total diet study statistics on element results’, Washington, DC, US Food and Drug Administration.
Food and Agriculture/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO): 1972, ‘Evaluation of certain food additives and the contaminants mercury, cadmium and lead’, WHO Technical Report Series No. 505. Geneva.
Francesco, C. and Raggi, A.: 2004, ‘Determination of cadmium, lead, iron, nickel and chromium in selected food matrices by plasma spectrometric techniques’, Microchem. J. (in press).
Hall, S.: 1995, ‘Fish: It's usually the last meat people give up, may be it should be the first’, N. Engl. J. Med. 33(2), 977.
Kagi, J. H. and Schaffer, A.: 1998, ‘Biochemistry of metallothionein’, Biochemistry 27, 8509–8515.
Kalay, M., Aly, O. and Canil, M.: 1999, ‘Heavy metal concentrations in fish tissues from the Northeast Mediterranean sea’, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 63, 673–681.
Khansari, F. E., Ghazi-Khansari, M. and Abdolahi, M.: 2004, ‘Heavy metal content of canned tuna fish’, Food Chem. (in press).
Larson, E. H., Anderson, N. L., Moller, A., Petersen, A., Mortenson, G. K. and Peteren, J.: 2002, ‘Monitoring the contents and intake of trace elements from food in Denmark’, Food Additives Contam. 19(1), 33–46.
Liang, Y., Cheung, R. Y. H. and Wong, M. H.: 1999, ‘Reclamation of wastewater for polyculture of freshwater fish, bioaccumulation of trace metals in fish’, Water Res. 33, 2690–2700.
Mertz, W.: 1981, ‘The essential trace elements’, Science 213, 1332.
Moore, J. W.: 1991, Inorganic Contaminants of Surface Water. 2nd ed. Springer Verlag, New York.
Muller, G. and Forstner, U.: 1973, Naturwissenschaften 60, 258–265.
Olga Marta, R., Jorge Arturo, C. and Maria Elena, A.: 1991, ‘Lead, cadmium and tin content in fresh and canned Costa Rican sardines and tuna’, Ingenieri y Ciencia Quimica 13(1), 20–24.
Onianwa, P. C., Lawal, J. A. and Ogunkeye, A. A.: 2000, ‘Cadmium and nickel composition of Nigerian foods’, J. Food Comp. Anal. 13, 961–969.
Onianwa, P. C., Adeyemo, A. O. and Idowu, O. E.: 2001, ‘Copper and zinc contents of Nigerian foods and estimates the adult dietary intakes’, Food Chem. 72, 89–95.
Price, A. R. G. and Sheppard, C. R. C.: 1991, ‘The gulf: Past, present and possible future states’, Marine Pollut. Bull. 22(5), 222–227.
Rafael, E.: 1975, ‘Study of the cadmium and lead contents of Spanish canned fish and mollusks’, Informes Tecnicos del Instituto de Investigaciones Pesqueras (Barcelona), pp. 14–29.
Rose, J., Hutcheson, M. S., West, C. R. and Pancorbo, O.: 1999, ‘Fish mercury distribution in Massachusetts, USA lakes’, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 18(7), 1370–1379.
Sharif, A. K. M., Mostafa, A. L. and Hossain, M. A.: 1993, ‘Lead and cadmium contents in ten species of tropical marine fish from Bay of Bangal’, Sci. Total Environ. 113, 193–199.
Tariq, J. and Jaffar, M.: 1993, ‘Selected trace metals in fish, sediments and water from freshwater Tarbella reservoir, Pakistan’, Toxicol. Environ. Chem. 39, 201–205.
United States Food and Drug Administration: 1993,‘ Guidance document for Ni and Cd in shellfish’, Report, Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Washington, DC.
Voegborlo, R. B., Methnani, A. M. E. and Abedin, M. Z.: 1999, ‘Mercury, cadmium and lead content of canned tuna fish’, Food Chem. 67, 341–345.
Woidich, H. and Pfanhauser, W.: 1974, Z. Lebensm Unters Forsch 155, 72–76.
Zahari bin, A. H., Mamat, M. and Embong, S.: 1987, ‘Cadmium, mercury and lead contents of canned seafoods in Malaysia’, J. Micronutr. Anal. 3(2), 129–135.
About this article
Cite this article
Ashraf, W., Seddigi, Z., Abulkibash, A. et al. Levels of Selected Metals in Canned Fish Consumed in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Environ Monit Assess 117, 271–279 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-006-0989-5
- canned fish
- heavy metals