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Table 4 Summary of full-text articles which reported chemical contamination of foods as a public risk in food marketing

From: Public health risks related to food safety issues in the food market: a systematic literature review

AuthorsCountry/regionArticle typeMain message/findings
Bai Y, et al., 2006 [37]ChinaResearch articleThis study investigated the organophosphorus (OP) pesticide residues in market foods in China. In 18 of 200 samples, five OP pesticides, including dichlorvos, dimethoate, parathion-methyl, pirimiphos-methyl, and parathion, were found in concentrations ranging from 0.004 to 0.257 mg/kg. The mean levels of dimethoate in fruits and parathion in vegetables exceeded the maximum residue limits (MRLs).
Othman ZAA, 2010 [38]Saudi ArabiaResearch articleThis study determined lead contamination in the Riyadh market in Saudi Arabians. Results showed that sweets (0.011–0.199 μg/g), vegetables (0.002–0.195 μg/g), legumes (0.014–0.094 μg/g), eggs (0.079 μg/g), and meat and meat products (0.013–0.068 μg/g) were the richest sources of lead.
Zaied C, et al., 2013 [39]TunisiaResearch articleThis study assessed occurrence of patulin in apple-based foods from supermarkets and stores in Tunisia. Results showed that the incidence of patulin contamination was 35%. The levels of contamination determined in the total samples ranged between 0 and 167 mg/l with a mean value of 20 mg/l and a median of 13 mg/l. Eighteen percent (18%) of the total juice samples (apple juices and mixed juices) and twenty-eight percent (28%) of the baby food samples exceeded the tolerable limit recommended by the European Union, which are respectively 50 mg/l and 10 mg/l.
Schecter A, et al., 2010 [40]USAResearch articleThis study assessed contamination of foods by persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the USA. Results showed that the highest level of pesticide contamination was from the dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) metabolite p,p´dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, which ranged from 0.028 ng/g wet weight (ww) in whole milk yogurt to 2.3 ng/g ww in catfish fillets. Authors found polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) congeners (28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, and 180) primarily in fish, with highest levels in salmon (PCB153, 1.2 ng/g ww; PCB138, 0.93 ng/g ww). For PFCs, we detected perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in 17 of 31 samples, ranging from 0.07 ng/g in potatoes to 1.80 ng/g in olive oil. In terms of dietary intake, DDT and DDT metabolites, endosulfans, aldrin, PCBs, and PFOA were consumed at the highest levels.
Onianwa P, et al., 2001 [41]NigeriaResearch articleThis study determined concentrations of copper and zinc in food items of various classes which were obtained from the markets of Nigeria. The results showed that copper levels ranged widely from 0.06 to 13.3 mg/kg, while zinc levels ranged from 0.06 to 56.9 mg/kg in various foods. Highest levels of both metals were found to occur in legumes (Cu, 8.3 ± 3.7 mg/kg; Zn, 29 ± 12 mg/kg). The estimated weighted average dietary intakes for the entire adult population were calculated to be 2.64 mg Cu/day and 15.8 mg Zn/day.
Vinci RM, et al., 2015 [42]BelgiumResearch articleThis study assessed occurrence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in foods from the Belgian market. The results showed that the most prevalent OVCs and respective percentages of occurrence were as follows: chloroform (97%), toluene (95%), ethyl benzene (80%), o-xylene (79%), and benzene (58%). The maximum probabilistic dietary intake was with 0.151, 0.645, 0.138, 0.066, and 0.118 mg kg bw1 day1 for chloroform, toluene, ethyl benzene, o-xylene, and benzene respectively.
Tittlemier SA, et al., 2004 [43]CanadaResearch articleThis study assessed polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) in retail fish and shellfish samples purchased from Canadian markets. The results showed that trout and salmon contain1600 and 1500 pg/g, wet weight, respectively. The concentration of PBDE was found to be 260, 180, and 48 pg/g, wet weight, respectively in mussel, tilapia, and shrimp.
Onianwa P, et al., 2000 [41]NigeriaShort communicationThis study determined cadmium and nickel composition of Nigerian foods. The results indicated that cadmium levels ranged from 0.01 to 0.62 mg/kg, with a general average of 0.16 ± 0.14 mg/kg. Cadmium levels varied significantly between different groups of foods, with the highest levels occurring in dairy (0.41 ± 0.25 mg/kg), and the lowest in confectioneries and fruits (0.07 ± 0.04 mg/kg). Nickel levels ranged from 0.05 to 9.22 mg/kg with a general average of 2.1 ± 1.5 mg/kg. The levels of both metals were found to be higher than the levels observed in similar foods in some developed countries.
Radwan MA and Salama AK, 2006 [44]EgyptResearch articleThis study assessed the level of heavy metals in Egyptian fruits and vegetables The results of this survey showed that the average concentrations detected were ranged from 0.01 to 0.87, 0.01 to 0.15, 0.83 to 18.3, and 1.36 to 20.9 mg/kg for Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn, respectively. The highest mean levels of Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn were detected in strawberries, cucumber, date, and spinach, respectively.
Ali MH and Al-Qahtani KM, 2012 [45]Saudi ArabiaResearch articleThis study assessed concentration of heavy metals in vegetables, cereals, and fruits in Saudi Arabian markets. The results declared that concentrations of major studied metals were exceeding than the recommended maximum acceptable levels proposed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee. Leafy vegetables were found to contain the highest metal values especially parsley (543.2 and 0.048 μg/g for Fe and Hg respectively), Jews mallow (94.12 and 33.22 μg/g for Mn and Zn respectively), spinach (4.13 μg/g for Cd). While peas in legumes group maintained the highest Zn content 71.77 μg/g and finally cucumber had the highest Pb content 6.98 μg/g on dry matter basis.
NIE Ji-yun, et al., 2016ChinaResearch articleThis study analyzed the concentrations of the heavy in China’s main deciduous fruits. Only 2.2% of the samples were polluted by Ni, only 0.4% of the samples were polluted by Pb, and no samples were polluted by Cd or Cr. For the combined heavy metal pollution, 96.9% of the samples were at safe level, 2.32% at warning level, 0.65% at light level, and 0.13% at moderate level.
Vinci RM, et al., 2012 [42]BelgiumResearch articleThis study assessed human exposure to benzene through foods from the Belgian market. Benzene was found above the level of detection in 58% of analyzed samples with the highest contents found in processed foods such as smoked and canned fish, and foods which contained these as ingredients (up to 76.21 μg kg−1).
Moret S, et al., 2010 [46]ItalyResearch articleThis study assessed levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in dietary supplements from the Italian market. The results showed that about half of the samples analyzed presented benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) concentrations exceeding 2 μg/kg, which is proposed as a regulatory limit for dietary supplements.
Ali Anma, 2013 [47]BangladeshRegulatory paperThis study investigated food safety and public health issues in Bangladesh. The study showed that use of formalin and DDT in foods is a crucial problem in Bangladesh. Supermarkets openly sell fruits, fishes, and vegetables that have been treated with formalin to keep them fresh. In Bangladesh, DDT is commonly used in dried fish (locally called as sutki) processing.
Hossain MM, et al., 2008 [48]BangladeshResearch articleIn this study, the following chemicals were found to be used in foods and foodstuffs: calcium carbide, sodium cyclamate, cyanide, urea (a nitrogen-release fertilizer), and formalin. The sellers/producers mentioned the following reasons: for their use of harmful chemicals: to make the product more lucrative (40%), to extend the product’s shelf life (32%), to substitute for unavailable natural raw materials (natural raw materials were not always available) (16%), consumer demand (8%), or because the adulterated raw materials were cheaper than natural goods (4%).