Determination of cadmium and lead in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) consumed in Quito, Ecuador

David Romero-Estévez, Gabriela S. Yánez-Jácome, Karina Simbaña-Farinango, Pamela Y. Vélez-Terreros, Hugo Navarrete

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14 Citas (Scopus)


Vegetables are one of the most important components in the human diet, but despite their multiple nutritional components, studies have demonstrated the presence of trace metals in their edible parts. In Ecuador, two of the most consumed crops are tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa). The importance of these two crops in the Ecuadorian diet, especially in large and touristic locations like the Metropolitan District of Quito, implies food safety-related concerns for locals and visitors. However, no previous studies have quantified the cadmium and lead levels in these two vegetables using samples from Quito markets. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the cadmium and lead content in both tomato and lettuce products from main nonorganic and organic markets in Quito using a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The results showed that the cadmium levels were lower than 0.058 in tomatoes and 0.034 mg/kg in lettuce, which are under the respective threshold values (0.100 and 0.200 mg/kg). Regarding lead, levels lower than 0.066 mg/kg were detected in lettuce, which did not exceed the CXS 193–1995 threshold value, while levels in tomatoes were near or exceeded the threshold value (0.100 mg/kg) from four markets (0.209, 0.162, 0.110, 0.099 mg/kg), suggesting a possible risk from tomato consumption. In addition, most vegetables marketed as organic had higher metal content than those coming from nonorganic markets. Based on these results, local health and commercial control authorities should monitor contaminants in food products sold in Quito and other places in Ecuador to ensure their safety.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)893-899
Número de páginas7
PublicaciónToxicology Reports
EstadoPublicada - 23 jul. 2020

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