Measurement of Heavy Metals, Saturated, and Trans-Fatty Acids in Fast Foods in Tehran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Food Technology, Islamic Azad University - North Tehran Branch, Tehran, I.R. IRAN

2 Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, I.R. IRAN


Heavy metals, saturated and trans-fatty acids are considered one of the most important food contaminants and health threats caused by natural phenomena or human activities. In this regard, fast foods are one of the sources that have to be monitored regularly as the potent points for potentially toxic elements and saturated and trans-fatty acids. The concentrations of lead, cadmium, and arsenic were measured using atomic absorption spectroscopy in fast foods (pizza, falafel, and chicken nuggets). The public health hazard from the consumption of fast food contaminated with heavy metals was determined using estimated daily intake, target hazard quotients, hazard index, and carcinogenic risk. The concentrations of saturated and trans-fatty acids were measured through the Gas chromatography method. A chicken nugget (0.133 mg/kg) had the highest concentration of arsenic, a pizza (0.123 mg/kg) had the highest concentration of lead, and falafel (0.137 mg/kg) had the highest concentration of arsenic. The majority of the estimated daily intake, target hazard quotients, and hazard index were lower than the world standards except for arsenic in chicken nuggets. The mean concentrations of saturated fatty acids in falafel, mixed pizza, and chicken nuggets were 18.02g/100g, 36.35g/100g, and 19.11g/100g respectively. The mean concentrations of trans-fatty acids in falafel, mixed pizza, and the chicken nugget were 1.12 g/100g, 1.32 g/100g, and 0.79 g/100g respectively. The mixed pizza had a higher saturated fatty acids content of 36.35% (heptadecanoic, stearic acid, and short-chain fatty acids). Therefore, heavy metals such as arsenic and saturated fatty acids in fast foods are a risk to the health of consumers and the only solution for this is to minimize the consumption of fast foods.


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