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Summary  

Extensive use of coffee, by one-third of world's population, entails the evaluation of trace element contents in it. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was successfully employed to determine the concentration of 20 trace elements (essential, toxic and nonessential) in four samples of coffee beans of various origins and two instant coffee brands most commonly consumed in Pakistan. This study provides the base-line values of certain toxic and essential elements in coffee. The daily intake of essential and toxic elements through coffee was estimated and compared with the recommended values. The cumulative intake of Mn is four times higher than the recommended value and that of toxic elements is well below the tolerance limits.

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Abstract  

Nineteen natural herbs and two prescriptions prepared from mixed herbs were analyzed via epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA) to evaluate their bromine and iodine concentration. Traditional medical doctors prescribed the samples presented in this work to most Taiwanese children for strengthening their immune systems. Empirical results indicated a wide diversity of bromine in the samples. Yet, the iodine concentration was only around one to tenth or twentieth of the bromine. The maximum daily intake (MDI) for various medical herbs was also widely diversified from one to tenfold on the basis of various criteria. The minimum detectable concentration (MDC) of bromine and iodine found was 0.42±0.14 ppm and 0.067±0.016 ppm, respectively. Compared to that from conventional thermal neutron activation analysis (NAA) for a similar evaluation, the extremely low MDC obtained here was attributed to the large amount of thermal neutron absorption during sample irradiation.

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Abstract  

Extensive use of pan, by one-tenth of world"s population, entails the evaluation of trace element contents in its ingredients. Radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA) was developed and successfully employed to determine the concentration of 36 trace elements (essential, toxic and nonessential) in its four basic ingredients, leaf of betel pepper, betel nut, catechu and lime. The radiochemical separation methodology has significantly improved the detection limits of most of these elements due to suppression of Compton background. This study provides the base-line values of certain toxic and essential elements in these ingredients. The daily intake of essential and toxic elements through pan was estimated and compared with the recommended values. The cumulative intake of Mn is four times higher than the recommended value and that of toxic elements is well below the tolerance limits.

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Abstract  

Uranium (238U) and thorium (232Th) concentrations were evaluated in different cereal, fruit and vegetable samples by using a method based on the calculation of the detection efficiencies of the emitted a-particles by CR-39 and LR-115 type II solid state nuclear track detectors (SSNTD) and measuring the resulting track densities. The influence of the soils on which the plants grow, and the fertilizers used was investigated. Total daily intakes of 238U and 232Th for a typical food basket were estimated to be 1.16 Bq.d-1 and 0.94 Bq.d-1, respectively, corresponding to a total committed effective dose of 0.27.10-7 Sv.d-1. Annual committed effective doses due to 238U and 232Th originated from the ingestion of different foodstuffs were evaluated for the adult members of the population by using the ICRP ingestion dose coefficients.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors:
K. Jurica
,
I. Brčić Karačonji
,
D. Lasić
,
D. Vukić Lušić
,
S. Anić Jurica
, and
D. Lušić

Phthalates are ubiquitous environmental contaminants that, due to their lipophilicity, migrate more readily into beverages with higher ethanol content. The aim of this work was to study the occurrence of phthalates in samples during the plum spirit production and in the final product, plum spirit manufactured by registered producers from five European countries, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A decreasing trend of mean values was observed for diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-iso-butyl phthalate (DiBP), and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) as the distillation process went on. Levels of benzyl-butyl phthalate (BBP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) increased in the distillation phase compared to concentrations in the preceding phases. In commercial plum spirits, DEHP and DiBP were detected in the highest concentrations. Results also indicated that a moderate daily consumption of plum spirit does not pose a health risk regarding the Tolerable Daily Intake of BBP, DEHP, and DBP

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Artificial sweeteners were introduced in therapy as sugar substitutes for diabetic patients. Nowadays these substances are widely used for sugar substitution in low calorie drinks and sweets. Most commonly used products to date are saccharine, cyclamate, aspartame, and acesulfam; maximum accepted daily intakes are stated for each one.A simple reverse phase (RP18) HPLC-UV method with direct detection (196 nm) was developed by us in order to measure the concentrations of the three sweeteners. No sample preparation is required, other than dilution. Limits of detection are 12 mg l−1, 0.5 mg l−1 and lower than 0.25 mg l−1 for cyclamate, aspartame and saccharine, respectively. Concentrations ranged between 113.14–280.07 mg l−1 in the case of cyclamate, 17.96–50.94 mg l-1 for saccharine, and 9.94–296.82 mg l−1 for aspartame.

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Abstract  

The content of the following trace elements, Ag, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, Hg, Rb, Sb, Se and Zn has been evaluated in the diets, excretion (urines and feces), blood and hair samples taken from different groups of subjects. Each population group is composed by five or more individuals selected in order to be representative of the adult population living in a well defined community. Some communities, with different socio-economical living habits, and displaced in different regions of Italy, have been considered in order to detect the variability, if any, of the trace element distribution among the Italian population. The data obtained seem to show a reasonable uniformity of the average trace element daily intakes in different regions of Italy. Beside the individual variability, very significant differences among the groups studied have not been found, as the trace element contents in excreta, blood and hair samples are concerned. All data are compared with similar data referred to population living in other countries.

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Abstract  

Seven trace elements were determined in milk formulas, powder milk and infant food. Instrumental neutron activation analysis was used for the analysis of Fe, Zn, Co, Cr and Rb, while As and Cu content was determined using radiochemical neutron activation analysis. Differences were found in the trace element content of foods of the same type. Milk formulas are comparable with human milk according to the results obtained for the elements analyzed. The samples of powder cow's milk presented similar concentrations of the elements studied. Liver with vegetables was found to have the highest Cu content. A meal prepared at home, made of beef and fresh vegetables showed a higher trace element content than its similar commercial one. An estimation of the daily intake of the elements analyzed was made and compared with minimum recommended daily ingestion.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors:
Hai-Qing Zhang
,
Bang-Fa Ni
,
Wei-Zhi Tian
,
Gui-Ying Zhang
,
Dong-Hui Huang
,
Cun-Xiong Liu
,
Cai-Jin Xiao
,
Hong-Chao Sun
, and
Chang-Jun Zhao

Abstract  

Twenty different brands of Chinese tea were analyzed for multiple trace elements, including some essential and toxic elements, by neutron activation analysis (NAA). A comparison among tea brands from China, India, US and other countries was made for the ranges and averages of concentrations for Na, K, Mn, Cu, and Br. It has been observed that the trace element contents in tea leaves are largely dependent upon the soil and the environment where the tea grows. Chinese tea is rich in Mn and Cu comparing with those of other counties surveyed, but is indigent in Na. The transference ratio for each element determined (i.e., the fraction of an element in tea leave transferred into solution when tea is leached by percolation) is also reported. Adult daily intakes of some essential and toxic elements from tea drinking were also estimated.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors:
Éva Polyák
,
K. Gombos
,
B. Hajnal
,
K. Bonyár-Müller
,
Sz Szabó
,
A. Gubicskó-Kisbenedek
,
K. Marton
, and
I. Ember

Artificial sweeteners are widely used all over the world. They may assist in weight management, prevention of dental caries, control of blood glucose of diabetics, and also can be used to replace sugar in foods. In the animal experimentation mice were given oral doses of water solutions of table top artificial sweeteners (saccharin, cyclamate based, acesulfame-K based, and aspartame) the amount of maximum Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) ad libitum. The controls received only tap water with the same drinking conditions as the treated groups. The mice were fed chow ad libitum.We measured food intake and body weight once a week, water and solutions of artificial sweeteners intake twice a week. The data were analysed by statistical methods (T-probe, regression analysis).Consumption of sweeteners resulted in significantly increased body weight; however, the food intake did not change.These results question the effect of non-caloric artificial sweeteners on weight-maintenance or body weight decrease.

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