Canned sea fish marketed in Serbia: their zinc, copper, and iron levels and contribution to the dietary intake

Open access


The aim of this study was to determine the levels of Zn, Cu, and Fe in three canned fish species marketed Serbia to see if they meet recommended daily intake requirements or exceed safety limits. We collected a total of 207 samples of canned tuna, sardine, and mackerel, in oil or tomato sauce and analysed them with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after acid digestion. The highest levels were obtained for Zn (15.1 mg kg-1) and Cu (1.37 mg kg-1) in sardine in oil and tomato sauce, respectively, and for Fe (18.98 mg kg-1) in mackerel in tomato sauce. Our results keep within the ranges reported by several national food databases and available literature data, with a few exceptions. Our findings also single out canned sardines as the richest source of the three essential elements combined. The estimated daily intake (EDI) of the three essential elements, however, was subpar, and ranged between 0.14 % and 0.72 % of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Zn, Cu, and Fe.

1. Costa LG. Contaminants in fish: risk-benefit consideration. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2007;58:367-74. doi:

2. Nesheim MC, Yaktine AL, editors. Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press; 2007.

3. Hooper L, Thompson RL, Harrison RA, Summerbell CD, Ness AR, Moore HJ, Worthington HV, Durrington PN, Higgins JP, Capps NE, Riemersma RA, Ebrahim SB, Davey Smith G. Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review. BMJ 2006;332:752-60. doi:

4. Domingo JL, Bocio A, Falcó G, Llobet JM. Benefits and risks of fish consumption: part I. A quantitative analysis of the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and chemical contaminants. Toxicology 2007;230:219-26. doi:

5. Filion KB, El Khoury F, Bielinski M, Schiller I, Dendukuri N, Brophy JM. Omega-3 fatty acids in high-risk cardiovascular patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2010;10:24. doi:

6. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / World Health Orgaization (FAO/WHO). Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements. Report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation Bangkok, Thailand. Rome: Food and NutritionDivision FAO; 2001.

7. Fraga CG. Relevance, essentiality and toxicity of trace elements in human health. Mol Aspects Med 2005;26:235-44. doi:

8. Roos N, Wahab MA, Chamnan C, Thilsted SH. The role of fish in foodbased strategies to combat vitamin A and mineral deficiencies in developing countries. J Nutr 2007;137:1106-9. PMID: 17374688

9. Zhao L, Xia Z, Wang F. Zebrafish in the sea of mineral (iron, zinc, and copper) metabolism. Front Pharmacol 2014;5:33. doi:

10. Squadrone S, Burioli E, Monaco G, Koya MK, Prearo M, Gennero S, Dominici A, Abete MC. Human exposure to metals due to consumption of fish from an artificial lake basin close to an active mining area in Katanga (D.R. Congo). Sci Total Environ 2016;568:679-84. doi:

11. Subotić S, Spasić S, Višnjić-Jeftić Ž, Hegediš A, KrpoĆetković J, Mićković B, Skorić S, Lenhardt M. Heavy metal and trace element bioaccumulation in target tissues of four edible fish species from the Danube River (Serbia). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2013;98:196-202. doi:

12. Subotić S, Višnjić Jeftić Ž, Spasić S, Hegediš A, KrpoĆetković J, Lenhardt M. Distribution and accumulation of elements (As, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, and Zn) in tissues of fish species from different trophic levels in the Danube River at the confluence with the Sava River (Serbia). Environ Sci Pollut Res 2013;20:5309-17. doi:

13. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. Houehold Budget Survey, 2013 (displayed 08 September 2017). Available at

14. Visnjic-Jeftic Z, Jaric I, Jovanovic Lj, Skoric S, Smederevac- Lalic M, Nikcevic M, Lenhardt M. Heavy metal and trace element accumulation in muscle, liver and gills of the Pontic shad (Alosa immaculata Bennet 1835) from the Danube River (Serbia). Microchem J 2010;95:341-4. doi:

15. Sunjog K, Gačić Z, Kolarević S, Višnjić-Jeftić Ž, Jarić I, Knežević-Vukčević J, Vuković-Gačić B, Lenhardt M. Heavy metal accumulation and the genotoxicity in Barbel (Barbus barbus) as indicators of the Danube River pollution. Sci World J 2012;2012:351074. doi:

16. Škrbić B, Živančev J, Mrmoš N. Concentrations of arsenic, cadmium and lead in selected foodstuffs from Serbian market basket: estimated intake by the population from the Serbia. Food Chem Toxicol 2013;58:440-8. doi:

17. Novakov NJ, Mihaljev ŽA, Kartalović BD, Blagojević BJ, Petrović JM, Ćirković MA, Rogan DR. Heavy metals and PAHs in canned fish supplies on the Serbian market. Food AdditContam B 2017; 10: 208-15. doi:

18. Marković G, Mladenović J, Cvijović M, Miljković J. Total protein and lipid contents of canned fish on the Serbian market. Acta Agric Serb 2015;20:67-74.

19. Ikem A, Egiebor NO. Assessment of trace elements in canned fishes (mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines and herrings) marketed in Georgia and Alabama (United States of America). J Food Comp Anal 2005;18:771-87. doi:

20. Ashraf W, Seddigi Z, Abulkibash A, Khalid M. Levels of selected metals in canned fish consumed in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Environ Monit Assess 2006;117:271-9. doi:

21. Tuzen M, Soylak M. Determination of trace metals in canned fish marketed in Turkey. Food Chem 2007;101:1378-82. doi:

22. Hosseini SV, Sobhanardakani S, Miandare HK, Harsij M, Regenstein JM. Determination of toxic (Pb, Cd) and essential (Zn, Mn) metals in canned tuna fish produced in Iran. J Environ Health Sci Eng 2015;13:59. doi:

23. Iwegbue CMA. Metal concentrations in selected brands of canned fish in Nigeria: estimation of dietary intakes and target hazard quotients. Environ Monit Assess 2015;187:85. doi:

24. Serbian Regulation. Pravilnik o maksimalno dozvoljenim količinama ostataka sredstava za zaštitu bilja u hrani i hrani za životinje i o hrani za životinje za koju se utvrđuju maksimalno dozvoljene količine ostataka sredstava za zaštitu bilja [Maximum allowed contents of contaminants in food and feed, in Serbian]. Službeni glasnik RS no. 29/2014, 37/2014 & 39/2014).

25. BDA. Food Composition Database for Epidemiological Studies in Italy (Banca Dati di Composizione degli Alimenti per Studi Epidemiologici in Italia - BDA [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

26. National Food Composition Database in Finland. The National Institute for Health and Welfare [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

27. Government of Canada. Canadian Nutrient File (CNF) [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

28. DTU food. National Food Institute - Danish Food Composition Databank [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

29. Livsmedelsverket. National Food Agency, Sweden [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

30. Matis. ISGEM (The Icelandic Food Composition Database) [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

31. Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Norwegian Food Composition Database 2016. The Norwegian Directorate of Health and University of Oslo [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

32. The Swiss Food Composition Database. Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

33. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA Food Composition database [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

34. Czech Food Composition Database [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

35. French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety. The ANSES-CIQUAL food composition table [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

36. The Dutch Food Composition Database (NEVO). National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. [displayed 19 February 2017]. Available at

37. Maret W. Zinc biochemistry: from a single zinc enzyme to a key element of life. Adv Nutr 2013;4:82-91. doi:

38. Prasad AD. Discovery of human zinc deficiency: it’s impact on human health and disease. Adv Nutr 2013;4:176-90. doi:

39. Roohani N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R, Schulin R. Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. J Res Med Sci 2003;18:144-57. PMCID: PMC3724376

40. Ralph A, McArdle HJ. Copper metabolism and requirements in the pregnant mother, her fetus, and children: A Critical Review. New York (NY): International Copper Association;2001.

41. Bost M, Houdart S, Oberli M, Kalonji E, Huneau J-F, Margaritis I. Dietary copper and human health: Current evidence and unresolved issues. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2016;35:107-15. doi:

42. Whitney E, Rolfes SR. Understanding Nutrition. 14th ed. Stamford (CT): Cengage Learning; 2015.

43. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academy Press; 2001.

Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology

The Journal of Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.436
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1,606

CiteScore 2018: 1.53

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.358
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.608


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 315 226 18
PDF Downloads 185 155 5