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Sci Total Environ. 2007 Jan 1;372(2-3):480-5. Epub 2006 Nov 21.

Transfer of lead from shot pellets to game meat during cooking.

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Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, IREC (CSIC, UCLM, JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain.


We evaluated the transfer of Pb from shot to meat during the preparation of breasts of quails with 0, 1, 2 or 4 embedded Pb shot. A traditional Spanish recipe was used which utilizes vinegar during cooking to enhance the long-term preservation of the meat. The effect of the acidic conditions generated by the vinegar on Pb transfer was compared with the same recipe when the vinegar was substituted with water. The effect of up to 4 weeks of storage on Pb transfer has been also evaluated. The transfer of Pb from the embedded shot to the meat was much higher when cooking with vinegar than with water. However, the Pb transfer under acidic conditions did not increase significantly during long-term storage at room temperature. The consumption of only half a pickled quail per week with embedded shot may cause the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of Pb by the Spanish consumer to be exceeded.

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