Toxic and essential elements in soft wheat grain cultivated in Serbia
A survey was carried out with the aim of assessing the level of some toxic (Cd, Pb, Hg and As) and essential (Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn) elements in wheat grown in Serbia. A total of 433 samples of soft winter wheat grain from all the Serbian wheat-growing regions were pooled into 52 representative samples for 2002 harvest. After wet digestion, Cd, As, and Pb were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS), whereas Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). Vapour generation accessory was used for Hg determination. The mean and median contents of all samples were (on a dry weight basis) 29 and 24 mu g/kg for Cd, 137 and 87 mu g/kg for Pb, 7 and LT 0.1 mu g/kg for Hg, 55 and 59 mu g/kg for As, 4.1 and 4.0 mg/kg for Cu, 24 and 24 mg/kg for Zn, 53 and 53 mg/kg for Fe, 34 and 33 mg/kg for Mn. The calculated mean and median levels of contamination were compared with the recommended or regulated maximum levels according to the Europea...n Commission and the national legislation. The average intake of eight selected elements from wheat-based products was estimated for the Serbian population.