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Original Research

RMJ. 2006; 31(1): 6-9

Changes in concentration of iron and lead in food due to rotting

Shakila Zaman, Hameed A. Tahir, Uzaira Rafiq.


Objective: To determine whether there is any change in concentration of iron and lead due
to rotting process of food.
Methods: The concentration of iron and lead in fresh samples of apple, precement
(Japanese fruit), banana, grapes, potato and tomato and normally marketed cereal, brand
name “cerelac”, was determined, using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Samples were
taken each week for six weeks.
Results: The highest concentration of lead (3.336μg/g), in fresh samples, was in precement,
perhaps, its thin peel and soft internal tissue has greater diffusivity and is more absorptive
for lead from environment. Cerelac had higher iron content. The change in concentration of
iron and lead with respect to rotting time is inconsistent and does not follow any derived
mathematical relationship. Initially, it increases, followed by a decline in value and then
increases again, with variation depending upon the nature of sample. However, on the
average, it is showing an increase.
Conclusion The inconsistency in concentration of metal ions at various rotting stages,
perhaps, is due to different rotten products, with varied absorbency at different states of
decay. (Rawal Med J 2005;30:6-9)

Key words: Iron, lead, rotten, bacteria, fungus

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