ICP-OES data for "Assessment of toxins in food and drug packaging materials"

Published: 3 May 2022| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/gnwy7nzpnt.2


In the current study, 11 commercially available food packaging and 2 drug packages were analysed for the presence of 4 heavy metals namely vanadium, arsenic, mercury and cadmium. Packaging material forms the mainstay of modern food industry. Hence, it is important to study their interference with food/drug present in the packaging material. As research has shown leaching of toxins from packaging material, monitoring the heavy metal leaching is essential to prevent harmful effects to the human body. In summary, a wide variety of food and drug packaging materials from the Indian market were tested for the presence of heavy metal, Vanadium, Arsenic , Cadmium and Mercury. Our study shows the presence of heavy metals in routinely used food packaging materials quantitatively and qualitatively. All samples irrespective of the results of qualitative analysis were subjected to quantitative analysis, as ICP -OES is a sensitive technique for the detection of heavy metals. Of the 13 samples analysed, arsenic was found in all samples beyond regulated limits, cadmium was present in higher than regulated concentration in only sachet. Arsenic was present in all samples, whereas vanadium was present in lower concentration in tissue, cellophane and sachet and mercury is present in higher concentration for sachet and plastic bags. Leaching of these heavy metals into the packaged food/drug may be potential health hazard severely compromising the well -being of humans. This study calls for stringent regulatory guidelines and strict monitoring of packaging materials at all stages, starting from raw material selection, storage and production till it reaches the consumer. The post packaging handling, transport, storage and conservation of the supply chain requirements further add to prospective leaching which will be the scope of future studies.


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11 food packaging samples and 2 drug packaging materials were bought from the local market. The samples included Aluminium cans, leak proof bags, cardboard, tetrapaks, cellophane, tissues, sachets, aluminium bags and boxes, plastic bags and containers and medicinal blister packets and medicinal closures. The packaging materials were collected, cleaned with distilled water and dried in a hot air oven. The samples we cut into small pieces using scissors and metal cutter and 10 grams each of the sample using a calibrated electronic weighing scale. The following mentioned tests were performed in triplicates. A) Extraction of probable toxin from the samples- Packaging material was collected and cleaned as mentioned above. 10 grams of weighed samples were digested using standard acid digestion technique as described by USEPA 305 (United States Environmental Protection Agency amendment no 305B). Operating conditions for microwave assisted extraction were followed as per the USEPA 3051. Digested solutions were cooled at room temperature and filtered through 0.45-micron micro filters. Prior to ICP-OES analysis, the samples were again filtered using 0.25-micron filter ensuring a clear filtrate. Analytical grade reagents, chemicals and double distilled water were used for the preparation of solutions and dilutions. All 13 samples were extracted as described under point A above, labelled and subjected to ICP-OES to quantify the chosen heavy metals. Multi-element standard (REICPCAL29A) was used to standardize and calibrate the metal concentration. Standards of all four metals were run in triplicates using instrument from Agilent technology (U.S.A) with a software version of 7.100.6821.61355 and firmware version of 2994. Statistical analysis - As the test was performed in triplicates a mean of the reading was considered, and final calculation and mark up to the volume of the extract was done using total amount of extract and conversion from PPM to microgram per gram of the sample


National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Kasturba Medical College Mangalore


Food Packaging Material