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Concentration Levels of Essential and Non-essential Metals in Ethiopian Khat (Catha edulis Forsk)

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The levels of essential (Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cr, Cu, and Co) and non-essential (Cd and Pb) metal in six different varieties of Ethiopian khat (Catha edulis Forsk, an evergreen stimulant plant) commonly consumed in the country and exported to the neighboring countries were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Known weight of oven-dried khat samples were wet-digested using 2 mL of (69–72%) HNO3 and 2 mL of (70%) HClO4 for 2 h and 30 min at variable temperature (120–270°C). The mineral contents in the digests were analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectrometer. The following concentrations ranges in fresh-weight basis were recorded in decreasing order: Ca (1,038–2,173 µg/g) > Mg (478.2–812.3 µg/g) > Fe (53.95–82.83 µg/g) > Zn (5.18–9.40 µg/g) > Mn (6.98–8.66 µg/g) > Cu (1.85–5.53 µg/g) > Cr (0.66–3.47 µg/g) > Co (0.41–0.80 µg/g). A wide variation in the mineral contents of khat from different region of Ethiopia was noticed. The toxic metals (Pb and Cd) were not detected in all the samples analyzed.

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The authors express their gratitude to the Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, for providing the laboratory facilities. Minaleshewa Atlabachew is thankful to Department of Chemistry, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, for sponsoring his study.

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Correspondence to Bhagwan Singh Chandravanshi.

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Atlabachew, M., Chandravanshi, B.S. & Redi, M. Concentration Levels of Essential and Non-essential Metals in Ethiopian Khat (Catha edulis Forsk). Biol Trace Elem Res 138, 316–325 (2010).

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