Heavy Metal Contamination of Red Pepper Spices and Hot Sauce
The consumption of botanical products has increased over the past two decades as consumers trend to what are perceived to be natural and high quality botanical products.
The primary regions of spice and tea production around the world have often been cited as having less stringent safety and quality standards in regards to consumer products. Products from these regions have been noted to contain a variety of adulterants and contaminants including wear metals and toxic elements. The spice samples used were purchased at dollar stores, farmer’s markets, chain stores, and online vitamin outlets. Products included organic products. Cryogenic grinding and microwave digestion were employed in sample processing. ICP-MS was used to determine the presence and level of heavy metal contamination and adulteration.
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