Effects of cooking methods on arsenic, cadmium, and lead in tilapia and human risk assessment

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Suda Jailuang
Chaiyaporn Soikum
Piyawat Saipan


Objective: Effects of  boiling, frying, and grilling methods on arsenic, cadmium, and lead in tilapia were studied and to estimate the potential to health risk. 

Materials and Methods: Nile tilapia (n=120) were randomly purchased from the local markets in four provinces of the northeast Thailand and then the samples were boiled, fried, and grilled under specified conditions. Concentration of heavy metals levels were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Human risk assessment was calculated by using the equation established by the USEPA.

Results: The results showed that heavy metals levels in fresh fish following the order: arsenic > lead > cadmium. The increased in heavy metals levels after cooking followed the order grilling > frying > boiling. Grilling and frying methods were increased the levels of three elements in tilapia samples but boiling was slightly decreased arsenic and cadmium concentrations. The average levels of heavy metals increased after cooking when compared with fresh samples was 52.74±19.16%.

Conclusion: Boiling, grilling and frying methods affected the amount of three elements in tilapia samples. However, arsenic, cadmium, and lead concentrations were below the maximum residue limits of Thailand regulations. The outputs of the target hazard quotients and the carcinogenic risk indicated that the values were safe for human health.


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