Nutrition Evaluation and Heavy Metal Analysis of Commonly Consumed Fruit and Milk Drinks in South-West Nigeria.

Omolara Ojezele, Matthew Ojezele, Augustine Onyeaghala

Abstract


Liquid food such as fruit and milk drinks are alternative sources of nutrients, minerals, proteins and vitamins. In most countries, including Nigeria, fruit squash and dairy products are considered as ‘staple food’; regularly consumed. In spite of the beneficial effects of these dairy drinks, there is growing concern regarding their safety contrary to the claims of the manufacturers. This study was aimed to evaluate and assess the nutritional composition, heavy metal contents and possible health risk associated with the consumption of some selected fruit and milk drinks. Fruits juice and dairy products were selected after initial administration of questionnaire to selected population. Identified samples were purchased at major markets in the metropolis. Levels of heavy metals, micro elements and nutritional composition were assessed in the selected samples using standard methods. Data showed that levels of Pb, Cd, Cr and Ni were higher in samples when compared with the allowable standard recommended by W.H.O and USEPA. The protein content of the milk drinks ranged from 2.81% to 5.31% and varying levels of micro elements were detected in the samples. Fruit and milk drinks could be valuable sources of essential micro nutrients, proteins and vitamins. Although it could act as good supplement for food, yet the excessive content of toxic elements implies that they should be consumed with caution. The need for necessary authorities to monitor the production process and contents of the products to prevent exposure to heavy metals could be helpful in protecting consumers’ health.


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