A Comparative Evaluation of Some Heavy and Trace Elements in Canned Tuna and Processed Meat in the Egyptian Local Market


  • Farida M.S.E. El-Dars Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo, 11795 Egypt.
  • Assem Abou-Arab Food Contaminants and Toxicology Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Asmaa A.M. Mansor Chemistry Administration, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Omnia I. Ali Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo, 11795 Egypt.


Canned tuna, meat products, heavy and trace elements, statistical analysis


In this study, some heavy metals and trace elements (iron, copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, and tin) were determined in selected canned tuna fish and processed meat products available on the local Egyptian market using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The results indicated that the Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, and Sn levels in canned tuna ranged between 48.97–60.01, 1.81–4.5, 17.19–27.57, 1.51–1.82, 0.96–3.85, and 1.06–3.67 mg/kg, respectively. In the selected meat products (luncheon, beef burger, beef frankfurter, and oriental sausage), the levels of Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd varied between 14.27– 26.36, 1.31– 4.48, 9.53–19.59, 0.78–2.88, and 1.50–3.54 mg/kg, respectively. Statistical analysis of the canned tuna results indicated that Fe, Cu, and Cd were strongly related to the production date and, potentially, the catch date, while Pb and Zn were related to the can material and solder. Statistical analysis of meat products data indicated that different meat processing preparations and operations did impact the levels of the detected elements in the tested produce. As well, thermal processing, meat curing operations, and additives may have affected the mineral content of processed meat.