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Heavy Metal Presence in Two Different Types of Ice Cream: Artisanal Ice Cream (Italian Gelato) and Industrial Ice Cream
- Conficoni, D., Alberghini, L., Bissacco, E., Ferioli, M., Giaccone, V.
- Journal of food protection 2017 v.80 no.3 pp. 443-446
- additives, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cross contamination, diet, eggs, heavy metals, ice cream, ingredients, lead, mercury, milk, risk, supermarkets, taste, texture, tin, traditional technology, Italy
- Ice cream, a popular product worldwide, is usually a milk-based product with other types of ingredients (fruit, eggs, cocoa, dried fruit, additives, and others). Different materials are used to obtain the desired taste, texture, consistency, and appearance of the final product. This study surveyed ice cream products available in Italy for heavy metals (lead, cadmium, chromium, tin, and arsenic). The differences between artisanal and industrial ice cream were also investigated because of the importance in the Italian diet and the diffusion of this ready-to-eat food. Ice cream sampling was performed between October 2010 and February 2011 in the northeast of Italy. A total of 100 samples were randomly collected from different sources: 50 industrial samples produced by 19 different brands were collected in coffee bars and supermarkets; 50 artisanal ice cream samples were gathered at nine different artisanal ice cream shops. Ten wooden sticks of industrial ice cream were analyzed in parallel to the ice cream. All samples were negative for arsenic and mercury. None of the artisanal ice cream samples were positive for lead and tin; 18% of the industrial ice cream samples were positive. All positive lead samples were higher than the legal limit stated for milk (0.02 mg/kg). All industrial ice cream samples were negative for cadmium, but cadmium was present in 10% of the artisanal ice cream samples. Chromium was found in 26% of the artisanal and in 58% of the industrial ice cream samples. The heavy metals found in the wooden sticks were different from the corresponding ice cream, pointing out the lack of cross-contamination between the products. Considering the results and the amount of ice cream consumed during the year, contamination through ice cream is a low risk for the Italian population, even though there is need for further analysis.