Analysis of heavy metals in five different baby foods
An infant product represents a breast milk substitute which satisfies the nutritive requirement for infants up to six months old. The intake of infant formulae and baby foods contaminated by heavy metal is harmful to infant health and several countries have imposed food law to restrict the presence of heavy metals in foods. The aim of this study was to evaluate heavy metals and proximate compositions in the nutritional quality of infant formulae and baby foods in Nigeria. Five different brands of infant formulas and two brands of baby foods procured from Sagamu community were analyzed using Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer, (Perkin Elmer Analyst 200, Germany) with nitric acid used as standard digestion methods, the heavy metals analyzed in the study were Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Nickel, Chromium, Cadmium, and Lead . Their concentrations were compared with WHO Permissible limit. In the proximate analysis, the methods of Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) were used for the determination of moisture content, ash content, crude fiber, crude protein, crude fat and carbohydrate contents of the samples. The results revealed the ascending order of concentrations of metals as follows :- Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Chromium (Cr), Cadmium (Cd) and Lead (Pb) the moisture content of food samples lies between 2.9% and 4.0%, Ash content; 2.36% and 4.90% the protein content; 30.5% and 40.46%,Â the crude fat 19.0% and 29.1% and while carbohydrate ranges between 27.43% and 41.8%. Therefore, it can be concluded that only five samples A1,B1,D1,E1 and G2 fell within the recommended values stated by Codex and WHO while two samples could pose a health problem to infants as they contained more than permissible level of heavy metals. Hence, there is need for care in preparation of baby foods.