Determination of Toxic Metals Content in Iranian and Italian Flavoured Olive Oil

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Abstract

Cultural practices and control of diseases and insects are widely used for cultivation of Olea europea L. These are considered potential contaminants. Aim of this investigation lies in determination of concentrations of contaminants in several edible olive oils. All test samples were purchased in three consecutive seasons. They were analysed in compliance with standardized international protocols of wet digestion methods. Ion concentrations were determined in three replicates using method of inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. We have registered a positive correlation between storage time and heavy metals contents. It was particularly high in Iranian brands and varied significantly. Investigation results show that all obtained heavy metals contents in pepper-flavoured olive oil samples were significantly lower than in other samples. Considering the fungi-flavoured samples, levels of Pb and Cd were prominent and exceeded the maximum permissible level set in the majority of cases. The further monitoring is needed as all these metals are toxic and their detrimental effect becomes obvious only after several years of exposure.

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