Nutritional composition and heavy metal content of selected fruits in Nigeria

Koleayo Oluwafemi Omoyajowo, Kelechi Longinus Njoku, Olutunde Olusayo Babalola, Olapeju Aderinola Adenekan


Despite the nutritional benefits obtained from fruit consumption, the presence of heavy metals accompanying it from the environment draws scientific concerns as these affect human health. The aim of this study is to determine nutritional composition and heavy metal content of some commonly consumed fruits (apple, watermelon and sweet orange) in Nigeria. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry was used to determine nickel, cadmium, chromium, lead and copper present in fruits. The results obtained show that the three fruit varieties contained considerable nutritional value that may meet body needs. Additionally, there was no significant difference in heavy metal concentrations of the fruits based on different locations (ANOVA F. test >0.05). This study posits that all the fruit varieties had the heavy metals within world health organisation (WHO) permissible limit except apples. Apples sampled for different locations had nickel and chromium levels above the WHO permissible limits. Based on the observations in this study, there is a need for continuity of heavy metals inspection in agricultural products so as to prevent contamination and secure human safety.

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