Send to

Choose Destination
J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Dec 10;56(23):11262-9. doi: 10.1021/jf802411q.

Effects of various cooking processes on the concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead in foods.

Author information

"Rovira i Virgili" University, San Lorenzo, Reus, Spain.


The effects of cooking processes commonly used by the population of Catalonia (Spain) on total arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) concentrations in various foodstuffs were investigated. All food samples were randomly acquired in local markets, big supermarkets, and grocery stores of Reus (Catalonia). Foods included fish (sardine, hake, and tuna), meat (veal steak, loin of pork, breast and thigh of chicken, and steak and rib of lamb), string bean, potato, rice, and olive oil. For each food item, two composite samples were prepared for metal analyses, whose levels in raw and cooked (fried, grilled, roasted, and boiled) samples were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The highest concentrations of As, Hg, and Pb (raw and cooked samples) were mainly found in fish, with a clear tendency, in general, to increase metal concentrations after cooking. However, in these samples, Cd levels were very close to their detection limit. In turn, the concentrations of metals in raw and cooked meat samples were detected in all samples (As) or only in a very few samples (Cd, Hg, and Pb). A similar finding corresponded to string beans, rice, and olive oil, while in potatoes, Hg could not be detected and Pb only was detected in the raw samples. In summary, the results of the present study show that, in general terms, the cooking process is only of a very limited value as a means of reducing metal concentrations. This hypothetical reduction depends upon cooking conditions (time, temperature, and medium of cooking).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center