Exposure and Risk Associated with Metals in Cocoa Based Products

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In recent years, the level of metals in food products has generated public concerns due to anthropogenic activities in the forest regions where most of the cash crops are harvested. This study evaluated the exposure and health risk of manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and lead (Pb) in both local and exotic cocoa products. Fifty products were sampled from the market and their metal contents digested and quantified by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. Consumption data was collected from 300 consumers using a semi-structured questionnaire in October, 2016. Probabilistic exposure and risk were quantified using the recommended USEPA protocols based on Monte Carlo Simulations of hazard and cocoa consumption data. The 95th percentile chronic daily intake (CDI) estimates were above the recommended daily dietary limits for the metals. Similarly, the 95th percentile hazard quotients (HQ) of Mn, Zn and Cu in the products were above the acceptable limit of 1. Cancer risk from Pb intake was implicated at exposure levels of the 50th percentile (3.01 x 10-5 to 1.08 x 10-4) and 95th percentile (1.05 x 10-3 to 2.22 x 10-3) according to a deminimis of 10-6. The results suggested that chronic high consumption of cocoa products could result in lifetime adverse health effect.
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,