Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of Trace Elements in Some Food Spices Consumed In Tehran, Iran

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Radiation Applications Research School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute

2 Radiation Applications Research School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran.


There is a growing interest in determining the concentration of various elements in food spices. In the present study, the instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was employed to measure the trace elements in 11 commonly food spices consumed in Tehran, Iran.
Materials and Methods
The levels of K, Mn, Na, Cl, V, Br, Al, and As were determined and their effects on human health were discussed. The results were compared with the values reported in the literature. The accuracy and precision of the analytical procedure was estimated by analyzing the Lichen (IAEA-336) reference material.
The concentrations of the measured elements in the spices were 3850-29157, 10-335, 153-2849, 186-3063, 0.2-2.8, 2.1-58.7, and 72-2102 ppm for K, Mn, Na, Cl, V, Br, and Al, respectively. As was only detected in thyme (0.8 ppm) and plantain (0.42 ppm).
As the findings of the present study indicated, the concentrations of K and Na in the black pepper, garlic, and ginger were significantly higher than the values reported in other countries. The Mn levels in the black pepper and garlic consumed in Tehran were comparable with those in Poland. Furthermore, the concentration of As in these spices were lower than the maximum permissible limit.


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