• A. S. Ogbuagu, Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
  • K. A. Anumonye, Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
  • J.O. Ogbuagu, Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka


In recent time, there is increasing concern for the presence of toxic metals in fruits imported to Nigeria. Nine imported fruits: peach dessert, pear packham, plums red, pomegranate, Kiwi
fruits, nectarine, apricots, Clementine and lemon were collected from a popular shopping mall on three different occasions and analysed for Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Chromium (Cr) and Arsenic (As), using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results showed that Arsenic had the highest occurrence in Plum red, Apricot and Lemon (7.927±0.010, 7.740±0.007 and
7.301±0.001ppm) respectively. Mercury occurred in highest in pear, then pomegranate and Clementine (4.152±0.051, 2.197±0.001 and 1.946±0.006 ppm) respectively. High values of lead and Chromium occurred in almost all the samples. When compared with Codex standard Hg (0.10 ppm), Pb (0.10 ppm), As (0.50 ppm) and Cr (0.30 ppm), the values were
mostly high indicating the high content of these toxic metals in imported fruits.


Beattie, J.K. and Quoc, T.N. (2000).

Manganese in pineapple juices. Food

Chemistry. 68(1): 37–39.

Christensen, J.M. (1995). Human

Exposure to Toxic Metals: Factors

Influencing Interpretation of

Biomonitoring Results. Science of the

Total Environment Journal, 166: 89-

Hague, T., Petroczi, A., Andrew, P.L.R.,

Barker, J. and Naughton, D.P. (2008).

Determination of metal ion content of

beverages and estimation of target

hazard quotients: A comparative

study. Chemistry Central Journal,

(13): 1–9.

Hui, Y.H., Barta, J., Cano, M.P., Gusek,

T.W., Sidhu, J. S., and Sinha, N.K.

(2006). Handbook of Fruits and Fruit

Processing. USA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jabeen, S., Shah, M.T., Khan, S. and

Hayat, M.Q. (2010). Determination of

Major and Trace Elements in Ten

Important Folk Therapeutic Plants of

Haripur Basin, Pakistan. Pakistan

Journal of Medicinal Plants Research,

(7): 559-566.

Karanja, N.N., Njenga, M., Mutua, G.K.,

Largerkrist, G.J., Kutto, E. and

Okello, J.J. (2012). Concentration of

Heavy Metals and Pesticides in Leavy

Vegetables and Implications for Periurban Farming in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Agriculture,

Food Systems and Community

Development, 2(1): 255- 267.

Orish, E.O., John, K.N., Cecilia, N.A.,

Daniel, O.D. and Onyinyechi, B.

(2012). Heavy Metals Health Risk

Assessment for Population via

Consumption of Food Crops and

Fruits in Owerri, South Eastern

Nigeria. Chemistry Central Journal, 6:


Tormen, L., Torres, D.P., Dittert, I.M.,

Araújo, R.G.O., Frescura, V.L.A. and

Curtius, A.J. (2011). Rapid

assessment of metal contamination in

commercial fruit juices by inductively

coupled mass spectrometry after a

simple dilution. Journal of Food

Composition and Analysis. 24(1): 95–

Qui, X.X., Huang, D.F., Cai, S.X., Chen,

F., Ren, Z.G, and Cai, Y.C. (2000).

Investigations on vegetables pollution

and pollution sources and its control in

Fuzhou, Fujian Province. Fujian.

Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 15:


Sobukola, O.P., Adeniran, O.M.,

Odedairo, A.A. and Kajihausa, O.E.

(2010). Heavy Metal Levels of Some

Fruits and Leafy Vegetables from

Selected Markets in Lagos, Nigeria.

Journal of Food Science, 4(2): 389-

Sobukola, O.P., Dairo, O.U., Sanni, L.O.,

Odunewu, A.V. and Fafiolu, B.O.

(2007). Thin Layer Drying Process of

Some Leafy Vegetables under Open

Sun, Food Science and Technology

Journal. 13(1): 35-40.

Williams, A.B., Ayejuyo, O.O., Ogunyale,

A.F. (2009). Trace metal levels in fruit

juices and carbonated beverages in

Nigeria. Environmental Monitoring

and Assessment. 156 (1–4): 303–306.


ang, B., Shu, W., Ye, W., Lan, Z. and

Wong, M. (2003). Growth and Metal

Accumulation in Vertiva and Two

Sabania Species on Lead/Zinc Mine

Tailings. Chemoposphere, 52:1593-