Levels of Aluminum in Some Selected Food Products

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JUNE 2017
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Aluminum, due to its inherent properties in making of packaging materials for food and that is beverage cans and foils etc. has been noted to be negatively impacting health. High levels of aluminum intake have been suspected to cause several neurodegenerative disorders which include Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. In this research, samples of bread, canned drink and sachet water were sampled from a study area and the level of aluminum was determined using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. The sample solution on injection is aspirated into a flame to be atomized and vaporized. These are then absorbed by a source element and following the Beer’s law, absorption is directly proportional to the concentration of atomic vapor in the flame, the concentration of the analyte was estimated. This study showed that six of the water samples had aluminum levels <0.001μg /L and the remaining samples to be ranging from 0.005 – 0.031μg/L, the canned drinks had aluminum levels within 0.62 - 0.175 mg/mL and the bread samples had aluminum content between 0.603-5.33 mg/kg. The values for drinking water fell within acceptable ranges 0.05 to 0.2 mg/L in all, it has been established that the provisional tolerable weekly intake from all sources is 1 mg/kg of body weight. This gives the indication that, though the aluminum finds its way into the various food by different ways, the final product still remains safe for consumption. The challenge may present itself when there is accumulation beyond tolerable limits due to frequency and quantity of consumed sources of contamination.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management,