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A Limited Survey of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Fresh and Frozen Cuttlefish Ink and Mantle Used As Food
- Conficoni, Daniele, Alberghini, Leonardo, Bissacco, Elisa, Contiero, Barbara, Giaccone, Valerio
- Journal of food protection 2018 v.81 no.2 pp. 290-294
- European Union, Sepiidae, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, freezing, heavy metals, iron, lead, mercury, risk factors, surveys
- Cuttlefish ink is consumed as a delicacy worldwide. The current study is the first assessment of heavy metal concentrations in cuttlefish ink versus mantle under different storage methods. A total of 212 samples (64 of fresh mantle, 42 of frozen mantle, 64 of fresh ink, and 42 of frozen ink) were analyzed for the detection of the following heavy metals: arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd). The median As concentrations were 12.9 mg/kg for fresh mantle, 8.63 mg/kg for frozen mantle, 10.8 mg/kg for frozen ink, and 0.41 mg/kg for fresh ink. The median Cr concentrations were 0.06 mg/kg for fresh mantle and frozen ink, 0.03 mg/kg for frozen mantle, and below the limit of quantification (LOQ) for fresh ink. The median Fe concentrations were 4.08 mg/kg for frozen ink, 1.51 mg/kg for fresh mantle, 0.73 mg/kg for frozen mantle, and below the LOQ for fresh ink. The median Pb concentrations of almost all samples were below the LOQ; only two frozen ink, one fresh ink, one frozen mantle, and one fresh mantle sample exceeded the limit stipulated by the European Union. The Hg concentrations were statistically similar among the four categories of samples; the median Hg concentrations were below the LOQ, and the maximum concentrations were found in frozen ink, at 1.62 mg/kg. The median Cd concentrations were 0.69 mg/kg for frozen ink and 0.11 mg/kg for frozen mantle, fresh mantle and fresh ink concentrations were below the LOQ, and in 11.3% of the tested samples, Cd concentrations were higher than the European Union limit. The probability of samples having a Cd concentration above the legal limit was 35.75 times higher in frozen than in fresh products. Fresh ink had significantly lower concentrations of As, Cr, Fe, and Cd, but the concentrations of Hg and Pb were not significantly different from those of other products. Frozen ink had significantly higher concentrations of Cd, Cr, and Fe, but concentrations of As were lower than those in fresh mantle, pointing out a possible role for the freezing process and for different fishing zones as risk factors for heavy metal contamination.