Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd in Tea Grown and Marketed in Kenya; A Quantitative Assessment

K.O. Moseti; T. Kinyanjui; J.K. Wanyoko; J.C. Too; F.N. Wachira; K.G. Omondi; J.K. Kurgat
Accurate quantitation of levels of essential and non-essential elements in tea is of great importance as they are directly related to health and disease. In this study, levels of Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and Cadmium (Cd) in tea grown and marketed in Kenya were quantified by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (FAAS). In unprocessed tea, the levels were found to range between 54.6 and 123.3 μg/g for Fe, 15.4 and 37.5 μg/g for Zn, 10.3 and 14.8 μg/g for Cu, 0.12 and 0.28 μg/g for Pb and 10.0 and 27.1 μg/kg for Cd whereas in black tea, the levels ranged between 81 and 369 μg/g for Fe, 17.1 and 44.9 μg/g for Zn, 9.0 and 17.8 μg/g for Cu, 0.12 and 0.41 μg/g for Pb and 9.1 and 40.0 μg/kg for Cd. The general accumulation pattern of these elements was established to be Fe > Zn > Cu > Pb > Cd in both unprocessed and black tea. All tea samples had metal contents within the Maximum Permissible Concentrations (MPC) set for tea, hence safe for consumption.
Essential Elements; Non-Essential Elements; FAAS; Black Tea
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