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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
Year: 2015  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 152 - 158

Assessment of the Presence of Selected Heavy Metals and their Concentration Levels in Fresh and Grilled Beef/Guinea Fowl Meat in the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana

Frederick Adzitey, Andrew Kumah and Seddoh Bright K. Mensah    

Abstract: Contamination of meat by heavy metals is a serious threat because of their toxicity and bioaccumulation. These metals come from or are released into the environment and often have direct physiological toxic effects as they are stored or incorporated in tissues, sometimes permanently. This is the first study that reports on the presence and concentration of selected heavy metals in grilled and fresh beef/guinea fowl meat in the Tamale Metropolis of Ghana. The levels of manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb) in fresh and grilled beef samples ranged from 0.19-0.80, 1.45-2.24, 0.05-0.09 and 0.63-1.63 mg kg-1, respectively with the exception of cadmium (Cd), which was not detected in the beef samples. Heavy metals concentration in the fresh and grilled beef samples did not differ significantly (p>0.05) from each other. In absolute terms, Mn, Zn and Cu were generally higher in fresh beef than grilled beef; Pb was higher in the grilled beef than in the fresh beef. The levels of heavy metals in fresh and grilled guinea fowl meat ranged from 0.28-0.45 mg kg-1 for Mn, 0.71-1.39 mg kg-1 for Zn, 0.03-0.45 mg kg-1 for Cu and 0.41-0.70 mg kg-1 for Pb. The Cd was also not detected in the guinea fowl meat samples examined. The concentrations of the heavy metals in the fresh and grilled guinea fowl meat samples were found not to be statistically significant (p>0.05). In absolute terms, generally the fresh guinea fowl meat samples had higher concentrations of the heavy metals compared to the grilled guinea fowl meat samples. The concentration of manganese, copper, zinc and cadmium were below the permissible limits with the exception of lead. Therefore beef and guinea fowl meat samples in the Tamale Metropolis can be considered as being safe from the heavy metals examined in this study.

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