Identification and Quantification of Heavy Metals Concentrations in Pistacia

Gholamhossein DAVARYNEJAD, Mehdi ZAREI, Peter Tamas NAGY


The levels of heavy metals are very important in pistachio nuts, because the edible nuts have an important and increasing role in human nutrition. Pistachio is one of the native nuts of Iran which contains high genetic resources, but there is insufficient information regarding nutritional properties and other elements like heavy metals. The objective of the present study was to investigate and compare heavy metals contents in the kernels of various pistachio samples including; ‘Daneshmandi’, ‘Sephid’, ‘Garmeh’, ‘Momtaz’, ‘Ahmad Aghaei’, ‘Badami Zarand’, Pistacia atlantica Desf. (‘Baneh’), Pistacia vera ‘Sarakhs’ and chance seedling as ‘Non-grafted 1’, ‘Non-grafted 2’ and ‘Non-grafted 3’. Inductively coupled plasma emission spectrophotometer (ICP) was used for the determination of aluminium, chromium, nickel, copper, strontium, arsenic, cadmium and cobalt concentrations in pistachio kernels. This study showed that there were significant differences among the samples in all measured heavy metals except the arsenic, cadmium and cobalt. The content of aluminium varied from 3.22 to 9.59 (mg kg-1 of dry matter) and chromium concentration from 0.60 to 1.86 (mg kg-1 of dry matter). The nickel content of examined pistachio samples was found between 0.43 and 3.63 (mg kg-1 of dry matter) and copper ranged from 3.20 to 12.33 (mg kg-1 of dry matter). The strontium content was observed between 4.96 and 24.93 (mg kg-1 of dry matter). The contents of arsenic, cadmium and cobalt not reported, because their amounts were lower than the detection limit of the applied measuring method (ICP). These data demonstrated that the concentrations of heavy metals in pistachios varied by cultivar.

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