Essential and toxic elements in infant foods from Spain, UK, China and USA

Angel Carbonell-Barrachina, Amanda Ramirez-Gandolfo, X. Wu, Gareth J. Norton, Francisco Burlo, Claire M. Deacon, Andrew A. Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Spanish gluten-free rice, cereals with gluten, and pureed baby foods were analysed for essential macro-elements (Ca and Na), essential trace elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Cr, Co and Ni) and non-essential trace elements (As, Pb, Cd and Hg) using ICP-MS and AAS. Baby cereals were an excellent source of most of the essential elements (Ca, Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn). Sodium content was high in pureed foods to improve their flavour; fish products were also rich in Se. USA pure baby rice samples had the highest contents of all studied essential elements, showing a different nutrient pattern compared to those of other countries. Mineral fortification was not always properly stated in the labelling of infant foods. Complementary infant foods may also contain significant amounts of contaminants. The contents of Hg and Cd were low enough to guarantee the safety of these infant foods. However, it will be necessary to identify the source and reduce the levels of Pb, Cr and As in Spanish foods. Pure baby rice samples contained too much: Pb in Spain; As in UK; As, Cr and Ni in USA; and Cr and Cd in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2447-2455
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number9
Early online date27 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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