ABSTRACT herb spices which are used in our daily



Herb spices are the sources of many
bioactive complexes that can enhance the flavor of foods as well
as process of digestion and metabolic activities in body. Some of the
components of herb spics are harmful for human body, e.g. micotoxins,
pesticides, heavy metals, and polycyclic carbohydrates residues. Herb spices replace the essential
dietary minerals from their actual place, thereby, various problems occur in
biological functions. That is why, it is very difficult to live in environment
which is free from heavy metals contamination. There are many ways through which
these toxic substances can enter into the human body such as intake of foods, beverages,
skin contact, and the inhaled air in environment but intake of these heavy
metals through herb spices which are used in our daily consumption have long
term impact on the human health. The main objective of
this study is to determine the heavy metal contamination in commonly used herb
spices which are used in daily food items. Black Pepper, Thyme, Oregano,
Red chillies, Turmeric, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Fenugreek Leaves, White pepper
and Black zeera
will be used in this study. The
content of (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Ni) heavy metals will be assayed by the
Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) method. Better measurements should be
taken in order to protect the consumer from the contamination of heavy metals

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are herb plants which are use in dried form in order to improve color, odor, scrumptiousness
and adequacy of food. The spices which are commonly used in daily life possess
outstanding microbial, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-hypertensive
potential. On the other hand, the preparation method and treatment of herbs spices
are the cause of poisoning of food. (Asomugha et al., 2016). Now a days, it is greatly emphasized to eat healthy
food which is fat free, although they belong to condiments, spices do not have
any specific nutritional value but their ability to enhance the taste of food
and sometimes also give better look to food, increased use of these spices in
food. Transfer of heavy metals into human body is greatly linked with the herbs
spices present in food due to their plant origin (Ozores et al., 1997). Spreading
of untreated waste effluents on land is practiced throughout the world because its
offers economic benefits over effluent treatment. Toxic metals have the ability
to concentrate in soil to such a greater extent that will result in application
of untreated waste water for longer time period. Concentration of heavy metals in
herbs spices is mainly due to chemical properties of the soil where the plants
are cultivated, and because level of environmental pollution (Matloob, 2016).
Also, industrial dealing out, wrapping, shipping, and storage circumstances can
play a vital role in inspiring the pollutant levels of heavy metals, which may
affect the worth and well being of herbs spices.  Concentration of toxic metals varies in plant
to plant and also on the chemical properties of soil i.e soil pH and organic
matter content. Presence of heavy metals in environment is either due to some
of the natural process or anthropogenic activities (Ata et al., 2014). Usually, the presence of heavy metals in spices
which contaminate food can cause serious problem related to health, because
these toxic metals cannot be degraded easily and have the ability to
concentrate in different parts of body. The process of drying of herbs spices
either on floor or on the top of the roofs they can easily pollute them with toxic
metals. Existence of heavy metals in food can greatly affect the human health
and cause various health issues i.e problem related to kidneys, nervous
breakdown, production disorders, blood pressure fluctuation and possibility of
cancer is also there.

use of natural spices varies in different areas of Pakistan which have their
specific regional importance that is why the process of production also varies
in different areas. Many spices are use directly from their natural source so,
it is thought that these free from any harm and contamination.


·       The
main objective of this study is to determine the concentration of heavy metals
contamination in herb spices.


of literature

is getting greatly affected by the heavy metals that are severe global problem and
mainly in major cities of the developing countries are facing these problems
like Pakistan, China and India where the pressure of human activities is very
high. The density of metals greater than 5 (kg/cm3) are called toxic
metals and which adverse effect on human body, it includes elements such as Ar,
Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, Al and few toxic metals. Heavy metals are such kind of contaminants
which remains in environment for longer time and are non biodegradable in
nature therefore, they great threat to food chain (Muchuweti et al., 2006).

Cd and Cu are hazardous to environment and are known to be remarkably poisonous
(Chary et al., 2008). The limit to
which heavy metals can accumulate in human body depend on different factors.
Cu, Zn, and Mn plays the role of micronutrients when present in minute amount. Food
that contains more quantity of Ca, P, Fe, and Zn, increased absorption of Pb accumulation
in human body. In the way, fasting for long time enables the incorporation of
lead in body in a greater rate with food (Gomez et al., 2001). Again, excess concentration of toxic metals in food
has lower the nutritional value of food, under developed countries with higher rate
of malnutrition is at greater risk of heavy metal contamination. The accumulation
of heavy metals in food chains is because of greater amount of toxic elements
in environment. Cd, Hg and Pb are commonly emitted pollutants in air from
industries. The presence of toxic metals has been observed to noticeable rate
in urban environment of India (Sharma et
al., 2007).

metals can enter into vegetables by the means of roots exposed to contaminated
soil and by the exposed parts of the plant to the toxic metals (Haiyan et al., 2003). The accumulation of toxic
heavy metals on the surface of vegetables from toxic effluents released from
industries during the time of  their making,
transportation and selling have been also observed (Islam et al., 2007). With the eatable food products, contamination of
heavy metals in vegetables has been greatly observed (Akram et al., 2010).  Greater rate of Pb, Cd and Cr in green leaf vegetables
are due to atmospheric deposition (Lin et
al., 2010). High level of toxic metals in vegetables which are grown in polluted
urban places have more toxic metals than those which are grown in rural areas
in Turkey is observed. Contamination of heavy metals in agricultural soils and
their presence in food crops has been greatly reported South East Asian
countries. The extent and deposition of toxic metals in common food which
include fruits and vegetables have greater threat to human health because of
intake of these food items. (Anne et al.,
2010; Sharma et al., 2007).  They concluded that consumption of that food
which is grown on heavy metals contaminated soil has great threat to humans and
animals (Xian, 1989). Toxic
metals can came in contact with human body through breathing of dust, utilization
of polluted drinking water, direct ingestion of soil and using up of food
plants grown in polluted soil (Dudka
et al., 1999). Vegetables are the main part of human diet as
they contain carbohydrates, proteins, as well as vitamins, minerals, and trace
elements which are essential for human health. Severe problems related to
health can occur as a result of greater intake of the toxic metals through food
items such as Cd, Cr, and Pb in the human body (Oliver, 1997).


and methods

the selection of herb spices which are commonly used in daily life a survey
will be conducted all around the Faisalabad. The different supermarkets and
local places will be selected which are listed as under.

Location for Sample collection:

1.     Local

2.     Alfatah

3.     Imtiaz
super Market

4.     Metro
Cash and Carry

spice samples:

1.     Black
Pepper (Piper nigrum)

2.      Thyme (Thymus serpullum)

3.     Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

4.     Red chilies (Capsicum

5.     Turmeric (Curcuma

6.     Garlic Powder ( Allium

7.     Ginger Powder (Zingiber

8.     Fenugreek Leaves (Trigonellafoenum graecum )

9.     White pepper (Piper nigrum)

10.  Black zeeera (Banium

      Preparation of sample

1.     Washing and Drying

herb spices will be washed in fresh running water to eliminate dust, dirt and
place in green house for air drying. After 4 days all samples will be collected
and place in oven at 65oC to get dry to weigh the samples.


oven dry, samples which are needed to be grind will be grinded using grinding
machine to powder form for digestion.

Analysis of heavy

small portion (1g) of the sample will be digested with 10 ml of concentrated
HNO3 and HClO4 in 2:1 (di-acid mixture) until a
transparent solution will be obtained. When transparent solution is obtained
the herb spices samples will be diluted upto (15 ml) with distilled water. The
metals will be determined using atomic absorption spectrometry.

Statistical Analysis:

collected for herb spices sample will be analyzed statistically through
Analysis of Variance Technique and treatment means will be compared by using
LSD test.