SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.19Effect of the addition of oat fiber on the physicochemical properties of cooked frozen hamburger with reduced fat and saltThe effect of sugar addition and the ageing process on the sensory quality of sugarcane spirit samples obtained traditionally and by redistillation author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand

Journal

Article

Indicators

Related links

Share


Brazilian Journal of Food Technology

Print version ISSN 1516-7275On-line version ISSN 1981-6723

Braz. J. Food Technol. vol.19  Campinas  2016  Epub Nov 10, 2016

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1981-6723.5915 

Original Article

Levels of essential and toxic metals in fenugreek seeds (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum L.) cultivated in different parts of Ethiopia

Níveis de metais essenciais e tóxicos em sementes de fenacho (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum L.) cultivados em diferentes partes de Etiópia

Mebrahtu Hagos1 

Bhagwan Singh Chandravanshi1  * 

1Addis Ababa University, Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa - Ethiopia

Summary

The levels of the major (Ca, K, Na, Mg), trace (Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co), and toxic (Pb, Cd) metals in the seeds of fenugreek cultivated in different regions of Ethiopia were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS). Wet ashing was used to digest 0.5 g of fenugreek seed flour using 1.5 mL of HNO3 and HClO4 acid mixtures (5:1 ratio), 30 min pre-digestion time, 45 min total digestion time and a temperature of 150 °C. Thirteen elements were determined, obtaining concentrations in the following ranges: Ca (15353-36771 mg kg-1) > Fe (6041-18584 mg kg-1) ≈ K (6789-11517 mg kg-1) > Pb (615-2624 mg kg-1) > Na (201-1559 mg kg-1) > Cd (285-464 mg kg-1) > Cr (3-552 mg kg-1) > Ni (31-108 mg kg-1) > Mg (31-102 mg kg-1) > Zn (15-33 mg kg-1) > Mn (16-28 mg kg-1) > Cu (ND-35 mg kg-1) > Co (4-15 mg kg-1). A statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) at the 95% confidence level revealed there were significant differences between the mean metal contents of fourteen sample means, except for Zn. Pearson’s correlation revealed weak positive or negative linear relationships, which implies that the presence of one metal did not affect the presence of the other metals within the plant, except for a few metals. The study showed that fenugreek seeds were a good source of essential metals. However, they also contained large amounts of the toxic metals Cd and Pb and therefore should not be consumed daily.

Keywords:  Fenugreek seed; Trigonella foenum-graecum L.; Major elements; Trace elements; Toxic elements; Ethiopia; Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry

Resumo

Os níveis dos metais majoritários (Ca, K, Na, Mg), traços (Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co) e tóxicos (Pb, Cd) nas sementes de fenacho, cultivadas em regiões diferentes de Etiópia, foram determinados por espectrofotometria de absorção atómica com chama (EAAC). A incineração á úmido foi usada para digerir 0,5 g da farinha das sementes de fenacho, usando 1,5 mL de uma mistura dos ácidos HNO3 e HClO4 (relação de 5:1), com 30 min de digestão prévia, 45 min de digestão total a temperatura de 150 ºC. Treze elementos foram determinados, obtendo-se concentrações nas seguintes faixas: Ca (15353-36771 mg kg-1) > Fe (6041-18584 mg kg-1) ≈ K (6789-11517 mg kg-1) > Pb (615-2624 mg kg-1) > Na (201-1559 mg kg-1) > Cd (285-464 mg kg-1) > Cr (3-552 mg kg-1) > Ni (31-108 mg kg-1) > Mg (31-102 mg kg-1) > Zn (15-33 mg kg-1) > Mn (16-28 mg kg-1) > Cu (ND-35 mg kg-1) > Co (4-15 mg kg-1). Uma análise estatística de variância (ANOVA), a nível de confiança de 95%, revelou que houve diferenças significativas entre os teores médios dos metais das quatorze amostras, exceto para Zn. A correlação de Pearson revelou relações lineares fracamente positivas ou negativas, o que implica que a presença de um metal não afeta a presença de outros metais dentro da planta, com exceção de alguns metais. O estudo demonstrou que as sementes de fenacho são uma boa fonte dos metais essenciais. Contudo, também continham quantias grandes dos metais tóxicos Cd e Pb e, portanto, não devem ser consumidas diariamente.

Palavras-chave:  Sementes de fenacho; Trigonella foenum-graecum L.; Elementos majoritários; Oligoelementos; Elementos tóxicos; Etiópia; Espectrofotometria de absorção atómica com chama

1 Introduction

Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) is native to Ethiopia and to the area from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia, and is widely cultivated in Pakistan, India and China (ZIA et al., 2003; BEKELE, 2007; CHANDRASHEKHAR; KHADSE, 2010). Its common English name is fenugreek and its vernacular names in the different regions of Ethiopia are Abake (Tigrigna), Abeshe (Guraginga), Abish (Amharic and Kore), Abishi or Sunqoo (Afan Oromo), Sets (Bas), Shiko (Sid), Shuko (Gam) and Shuqwa (Konta, wel) (AHARI et al., 2009). The genus Trigonella is one of the largest genera of the tribe Trifoliatae in the family Fabaceae and sub-family Papilionaceae (MARZOUGUI et al., 2009). Fenugreek seeds contain about 50% fibre and also contain protein, saponins and the hypoglycemic phytochemicals coumarin, fenugreekine, nicotinic acid, phytic acid, scopoletin and trigonelline (ASFAW; DEMISSEW, 2009; HEDBERG; EDWARDS, 1989; FATIMA et al., 2005) and 4-hydroxyisoleucine (HEDBERG; EDWARDS, 1989). Fenugreek seeds have high contents of iron, calcium, zinc (LEIGH BROADHURST, 1997), lysins and β-carotene (EFSA, 2010) and are a rich source of flavonoid compounds such as quercetin, luteolin, kaempferol, tricin and gallic acid. Many workers have reported the antioxidant potential of fenugreek (EIBEN et al., 2004).

Fenugreek leaves and seeds are consumed in different countries around the world for different purposes, such as medicinal uses (anti-diabetic, lowering the blood sugar and cholesterol levels, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, against breast cancer (IBRAHIUM; HEGAZY, 2009), avoiding blood poisoning from wounds (HOODA; JOOD, 2005), making food (stew with rice in Iran, flavouring cheese in Switzerland, syrup and bitter rum in Germany, mixed seed powder with flour for making flat bread in Egypt, curries, dyes, young seedlings for eating as a vegetable), roasted grain as a coffee-substitute (in Africa), controlling insects in grain storages and perfume industries. The seeds of this ancient herb have been used as both a spice and a herbal remedy in the Middle East, India, and Egypt and later on in Europe, China and other parts of the world (SUSHMA; DEVASENA, 2010). Fenugreek seeds have been reported for their pharmaceutical properties in treating such human diseases as diabetes and hypercholesterolemia (ZIA et al., 2003).

In Ethiopia fenugreek is cultivated between altitudes of 1600 and 2300 m above sea level all over the country (AHARI et al., 2009) and is used in preparing “Hilbet”, a delicious, traditional, soft white food in the Tigray regional state. It is also used to make tea, “Enjera”, flat bread mostly made of “tef” flour, as a spice in milk and in traditional medicine.

Recently some studies have been carried out on the mineral composition of selected spices (thyme, fennel, ginger, korarima, and red pepper) cultivated in Ethiopia (DERBIE; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2011; ENDALAMAW; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2015; WAGESHO; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2015; MEKASSA; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2015; TEFERA; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2016). Several global studies were also been done on Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) especially in the areas of medicine and to determine the metal content. However, none of these studies were done in Ethiopia. Therefore, it seemed worthwhile to study the levels of essential and non-essential metals in T. foenum-graecum (fenugreek) cultivated in Ethiopia. The assessment of the major metals (Ca, K, Na and Mg), trace metals (Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co) and toxic metals (Pb, Cd) in T. foenum-graecum (fenugreek) samples collected from the Amhara and Tigray regional states of Ethiopia was carried out in order to produce experimental data which could be used to identify the nutritional use as well as the toxicological status of the spice. It was also considered helpful to determine the sources of the metals and to assess the pollution level.

The main objective of this study was (i) to determine the levels of the major (Ca, K, Na, Mg), trace (Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co), and toxic (Pb, Cd) metals in Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek) cultivated in Ethiopia using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS), (ii) to compare the levels of the metals in fenugreek seeds from different regions of Ethiopia with that of the data in the literature, and (iii) to compare the levels of the metals in fenugreek seeds with that of the data on other spices, available in the literature.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 Apparatuses

A Gallenkamp Kjeldahl apparatus (UK) was used to digest the fenugreek samples. A flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Buck Scientific Model 210 VGP AAS, East Norwalk, USA) using a deuterium background corrector with an air-acetylene flame was used to determine the concentrations of the metals Ca, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co, Pb, and Cd in the fenugreek samples.

2.2 Reagents

All the chemicals and reagents used were of analytical grade. Sulfuric acid 98%, H2SO4 (Fine Chem, Mumbai, India), perchloric acid 70%, HClO4 (Fine Chem, Mumbai, India), hydrogen peroxide, 30%, w/w, extra pure (Spain), nitric acid, HNO3 (pure 69-72%) (Spectrol, BDH, England) were used for the digestion of the fenugreek seed samples. Standard solutions (1000 mg/L in 2% HNO3) of Ca, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co, Pb, and Cd (Buck Scientific Puro-Graphictm) were used to prepare the calibration curves. LaNO3.6H2O (98%, Aldrich, USA) solution was used to prevent chemical interference from phosphates and other anions in the measurements of Ca and Mg. Chemically pure deionized water (with electrical conductivity < 2 μs cm-1) was used for cleaning the digestion and volumetric flasks and to dilute the samples.

2.3 Sample collection

Sample sites were selected in both the Amhara and Tigray regional states, based on the wider cultivation of the plant in these regions of the country. Fourteen sample sites were selected in this study as follows: Donbeskie, Koladiba, Ambagiorgis and Dabat (North Gonder, Ahmara region), Johaniagiorgis (West Gojam, Ahmara region), Adet and Bichena (East Gojam, Ahmara region), Keteteekli, Mayadrasha, Edagaarbi and Hatsebo (Central Tigray, Tigray region), Meseretgamra and Korem (Southern Tigray, Tigray region), Debrebirhan (North Shewa, Ahmara region).

Fenugreek seeds were collected from the different parts of the Amhara and Tigray regional states of Ethiopia. They were bought from the corresponding local markets from peasants living in that area. Half a kilogram was bought at most sample sites, packed into clean, dry polyethylene plastic bags, and finally transported to the Chemistry Department of the Science Faculty of Addis Ababa University for further study.

2.4 Sample preparation

The fenugreek seeds samples were washed with deionized water and then allowed to sundry in the open air. Each sample was then oven dried at 80 °C for 24 h. The dried samples were ground in a stainless steel blender (Moulindex, France) and the flour allowed to pass through a 1.4 mm mesh and kept in clean labelled plastic bags.

2.5 Optimization of the digestion procedure

There are several different methods to decompose organic samples using inorganic acids in an open vessel, and one of these is wet ashing. Wet ashing is the oxidative decomposition of organic samples by liquid oxidizing reagents such as HNO3, H2SO4, HClO4 or mixture of these acids. This decomposition process converts the organic sample to carbon dioxide and water. Non-metallic elements such as halogens, sulfur and nitrogen, are wholly or partially lost by volatilization in an open vessel (SKOOG et al., 1996; SOYLAK et al., 2004).

To optimize the digestion of the fenugreek seed samples, different oxidizing agents and/or acid combinations were tested, using 0.5 g samples. Three different mixtures: conc. H2SO4/30% H2O2, conc. H2SO4/HNO3/30% H2O2 and HNO3/HClO4 were tested. The first and second combinations were not good and only the last combination gave good results. Therefore, to optimize the digestion procedure for fenugreek seeds, different ratios of HNO3/HClO4 were used and the best result was obtained with a 5:1 ratio. The optimum condition for digestion was found using a total volume of 1.5 mL of the acid mixtures, temperature of 150 °C, 30 min pre-digestion time and 45 min total digestion time. The optimization of the digestion procedures for this study was done based on the parameters of time, volume, temperatures and reagent compositions, and the optimized condition was selected based on the criteria of minimum reagent costs, minimum time and a clear solution. Each of the 14 fenugreek seed samples was digested in triplicate.

2.6 Digestion of the fenugreek seed samples

A 0.5 g aliquot of powdered fenugreek seed was transferred to a 100 mL digestion flask followed by a total volume of 1.5 mL of the HNO3/HClO4 acid mixture, i.e. 5:1 ratio. The mixture was allowed to remain in the open air for 30 min pre-digestion time and then digested at 150 °C for 45 min using a Gallenkamp Kjeldahl apparatus. The sample in the digestion flask was allowed to cool for about 40 min and then filtered through 70 mm Whatman filter paper into a 50 mL volumetric flask. 1 mL of a lanthanum nitrate solution and deionized water were added to the filtrate and then diluted to volume with distilled deionized water. The solution in the volumetric flask was thus ready for further analysis using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

To determine the concentration of metals in the acid mixtures, blank samples were digested in the same manner as the fenugreek seed samples. A total of 10 blanks were prepared and digested.

2.7 Instrument calibration

The atomic absorption spectrometer was calibrated using four series of working standards. The working standard solutions of each metal were prepared freshly by diluting the intermediate standard solutions. A 10 mg L-1 intermediate standard solution of each metal was prepared by diluting a 1000 mg L-1 stock standard solution. The solution thus prepared was used to calibrate the instrument before determining the metal concentrations in the samples.

2.8 Method detection limit

A very important quantity in chemical analysis is the limit of detection. The LOD is the smallest concentration or amount that can be detected with reasonable certainty by a given analytical procedure (ENKE, 2000). In this study, the method detection limit of each element was calculated as three times the standard deviation of the blank (n = 10). The method detection limits were found to be low enough (<0.1 mg kg-1) to detect the trace quantities of selected metals in the fenugreek seed samples.

2.9 Precision and accuracy

The errors in analytical results can be expressed in terms of accuracy and precision (SKOOG et al., 1996). In this study the precision of the results was evaluated from the standard deviation of triplicate samples with triplicate measurements of each sample (n = 9), while the accuracy and the validity of the analytical method were determined by spiking the samples with known concentrations of standard solution.

2.10 Method validation

The efficiency of the optimized procedure was checked by spiking a known concentration of analyte into the sample. In this study 20% of the metal concentration determined was first spiked into the sample, and then digested in the same way as the un-spiked sample. The spiked concentrations of these metals were 0.307, 13.6, 0.906, 30.7, 23.1, 0.35, 0.13, 0.06, 0.056, 0.05, 0.03, 1.8 and 0.6 mg L-1 for Ca, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co, Pb and Cd, respectively. 50 µL each of Na, Fe, Ni, Mn, Cu, Co and Pb were spiked into one 100 mL digestion flask containing 0.5 g of fenugreek seed sample, and 50 µL each of Ca, K, Mg, Cr, Zn and Cd were spiked into another flask and digested using the optimized digestion procedure. Both the spiked and non-spiked samples were digested and analysed under similar conditions. Finally the percent recovery (% R) of the analyte was calculated. The percent recoveries were found to be in the range from 94-109%, which is within the acceptable range.

3 Results and discussion

3.1 Distribution pattern of the metals in fenugreek samples from the different sampling sites

The concentrations of thirteen metals (Ca, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co, Pb and Cd) were determined by digesting fenugreek seed flour and analysing by flame atomic absorption spectrometry, and the results are given in Table 1. The most abundant major element in fenugreek seed was Ca, the main trace element Fe and the major toxic element Pb. The concentrations of the major elements, i.e. Ca, K, Na and Mg in the fenugreek seed samples were found in the ranges from 1553-36771 mg kg-1, 6789-11517 mg kg-1, 201-1559 mg kg-1 and 31-102 mg kg-1; respectively. The concentrations of the trace elements, i.e. Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu and Co were found in the ranges from 6041-18585 mg kg-1, 3-552 mg kg-1, 31-108 mg kg-1, 15-33 mg kg-1, 16-28 mg kg-1, N.D-35 mg kg-1 and 4-15 mg kg-1; respectively. Finally the concentrations of the toxic metals Pb and Cd were found in the ranges from 615-1814 mg kg-1 and 285-464 mg kg-1; respectively. Of the trace elements Fe, had the highest concentration due to the relatively higher Fe contents in Ethiopian soils. To the contrary, of the major plant elements, Mg was the metal with the lowest concentration. This may be due to the plant having a greater affinity for metals other than Mg. However, unlike other spices studied in Ethiopia, the concentrations of the toxic metals Pb and Cd were found to be much higher in the fenugreek seeds. The sources of these concentrations could be from the soil where the plants were cultivated or from the fertilizers used by the farmers.

Table 1 Concentrations (mean ± SD, n = 3, mg kg-1 of dry mass) of the major, trace and toxic metals in fenugreek seeds from the different sample sites in Ethiopia. 

No. Sample site Ca K Na Mg Fe
1 Denboskie 36085 ± 1434 7478 ± 83 942 ± 17 74 ± 4 17807 ± 1109
2 Koladiba 32612 ± 770 9618 ± 160 201 ± 6 31 ± 5 12854 ± 540
3 Ambagiorgis 23374 ± 773 7788 ± 94 286 ± 9 99 ± 2 8216 ± 1321
4 Dabat 23350 ± 2400 9845 ± 64 529 ± 21 86 ± 4 14669 ± 1395
5 Jehaniagiorgis 32454 ± 3701 8534 ± 67 699 ± 7 51 ± 5 15492 ± 1928
6 Keteteekli 26194 ± 1618 7582 ± 123 442 ± 9 55 ± 4 6041 ± 745
7 Adet 16443 ± 1521 9354 ± 136 578 ± 4 67 ± 6 17318 ± 1049
8 Bichena 24114 ± 1154 9314 ± 78 452 ± 14 96 ± 5 15690 ± 920
9 Meseretgamra 23900 ± 1326 9206 ± 211 1559 ± 41 42 ± 7 12493 ± 919
10 Mayadrasha 27113 ± 2480 10451 ± 220 1156 ± 5 57 ± 6 18584 ± 1339
11 Edagaarbi 36771 ± 1938 10807 ± 375 1172 ± 6 96 ± 5 15378 ± 945
12 Hatsebo 15353 ± 1896 6789 ± 88 453 ± 10 44 ± 3 11560 ± 1355
13 Debrebirhan 22433 ± 3115 11517 ± 294 415 ± 10 69 ± 5 16104 ± 2307
14 Korem 28903 ± 3138 9401 ± 155 1532 ± 12 102 ± 6 14870 ± 1327
Mean 26364 8448 744 69 14077
Range 15353-36771 6789-11517 201-1559 31-102 6041-18584
No. Sample site Cr Ni Zn Mn
1 Denboskie 275 ± 16 34 ± 4 33.0 ± 0.3 16.0 ± 0.4
2 Koladiba 552 ± 9 89 ± 9 27.0 ± 0.3 18.0 ± 0.5
3 Ambagiorgis 170 ± 13 117 ± 16 27 ± 0.5 20.0 ± 0.8
4 Dabat 419 ± 42 115 ± 5 28 ± 0.4 16.0 ± 0.3
5 Jehaniagiorgis 279 ± 17 108 ± 12 16.0 ± 0.6 20.0 ± 0.6
6 Keteteekli 388 ± 16 31 ± 5 21.0 ± 0.5 19.0 ± 0.4
7 Adet 339 ± 29 107 ± 5 17.0 ± 0.4 18.0 ± 0.5
8 Bichena 283 ± 24 52 ± 3 15.0 ± 0.7 19.0 ± 0.6
9 Meseretgamra 74 ± 10 99 ± 10 17.0 ± 0.2 16.0 ± 0.5
10 Mayadrasha 279 ± 10 73 ± 2 24.0 ± 0.3 22 ± 0.8
11 Edagaarbi 242 ± 14 97 ± 7 18 ± 1.1 18 ± 2
12 Hatsebo 175 ± 13 67 ± 5 30 ± 0.2 28 ± 0.8
13 Debrebirhan 413 ± 37 41 ± 3 22 ± 0.2 21.0 ± 0.7
14 Korem 3.0 ± 0.5 101 ± 9 23 ± 0.2 19.0 ± 0.7
Mean 278 81 23 19
Range 3-552 31-108 15-33 16-28
No. Sample site Cu Co Pb Cd
1 Denboskie 25 ± 0.8 9.0 ± 1.1 1220 ± 16 318 ± 12
2 Koladiba 5.0 ± 0.4 11.0 ± 0.2 624 ± 75 355 ± 9
3 Ambagiorgis 9 ± 0.5 11 ± 0.5 615 ± 75 303 ± 11
4 Dabat 7 ± 1 10.0 ± 0.4 559 ± 36 464 ± 14
5 Jehaniagiorgis ND 15.0 ± 0.6 1282 ± 124 374 ± 10
6 Keteteekli 15 ± 0.2 4.0 ± 0.3 1687 ± 136 396 ± 10
7 Adet 7 ± 1 7.0 ± 0.7 785 ± 42 285 ± 22
8 Bichena 5.0 ± 0.5 10.0 ± 0.3 1355 ± 42 463 ± 10
9 Meseretgamra 14.0 ± 0.6 10.0 ± 0.6 2624 ± 101 285 ± 32
10 Mayadrasha 35 ± 1 11.0 ± 0.3 1387 ± 91 378 ± 20
11 Edagaarbi 35 ± 1 14.0 ± 0.7 1776 ± 145 286 ± 11
12 Hatsebo 26.0 ± 0.3 15.0 ± 0.4 1258 ± 12 312 ± 12
13 Debrebirhan 28 ± 4 13.0 ± 0.7 1814 ± 67 287 ± 16
14 Korem 16.0 ± 0.4 10.0 ± 0.2 1631 ± 54 311 ± 17
Mean 17 11 1330 344
Range ND-35 4-15 615-2624 285-464

The metal contents in the fenugreek seeds were found in the following decreasing order: Ca > Fe ≈ K > Pb > Na > Cd > Cr > Ni > Mg > Zn > Mn > Cu > Co. Mineral uptake in plants is a function of the mineral concentrations in the soils, soil pH, cation exchange capacity, organic matter content, types and varieties of plants and age of the plant. The reason why the Ca concentration was very high in the fenugreek seeds at all the sample sites may be due to the presence of the thick mesozoic limestone and gypsum sequences in the Blue Nile river area in central Ethiopia, and the proterozoic marbles that occur in northern (Tigray) and western (Gojam) Ethiopia. The marble and limestone could be the main sources of Ca in the soil from these sample areas. Moreover, Ca is amongst the major elements required by plants. In the above series, the concentration of K is higher than that of Na, since plants generally have higher K than Na contents (DEMAN, 1999). Trace elements are ubiquitous in our environment and are found in all the foods we eat. In general, the abundance of trace elements in foods is related to their abundance in the environment and the most abundant trace element in the soil is Fe. In this study Fe was the trace element found in the highest concentration. Similarly, as many authors have mentioned, the Ethiopian soil is rich in Fe minerals, e.g. hematite (Fe2O3), and this may be the reason why the Ethiopian fenugreek seeds are rich in iron contents. However trace elements can get into foods by different pathways. The most important source is from the soil, but they can also be absorbed in aqueous solution through the roots. Another minor source is foliar penetration (industrial air pollution and vehicle emissions) and other possible sources are fertilizers, agricultural chemicals and sewage sludge (DEMAN, 1999).

3.2 Comparison of the metal levels between the sample sites

Of the thirteen elements analysed in the fenugreek seeds in this study, Ca showed the highest concentration. The mean concentration of Ca in this study was 26364 mg kg-1, and the highest Ca concentration (36771 ± 1938 mg kg-1 of dry mass of fenugreek seed) was recorded in the sample from the Edagaarbi site. The three sample sites with the highest Ca concentrations were Edagaarbi, Denboskie and Koladiba, with concentrations of 36771 ± 1938 mg kg-1, 36085 ± 1434 mg kg-1 and 32612 ± 770 mg kg-1, respectively and that with the lowest Ca concentration was Hatsebo, with 15353 ± 1758 mg kg-1. The RDA and RDI for Ca for people in the 25-50 year age range are 800 mg per day and 1000 mg per day, respectively (WARDLAW, 1997). The three sample sites with the highest K concentrations per dry mass were Debrebirhan, Edagaarbi and Mayadrasha, with concentrations of 11517 ± 294 mg kg-1, 10807 ± 375 mg kg-1 and 10451 ± 220 mg kg-1, respectively. The site with the lowest K concentration in the fenugreek seeds was Hatsebo (6789 ± 155 mg kg-1). The estimated minimum K requirement for a healthy person above 18 is 2000 mg per day (WARDLAW, 1997). In Canada, the median dietary intake range is from 3.2 to 3.4 g per day for men and 2.4 to 2.6 g per day for women (JENNIFER et al., 2006). The three sample sites with the highest Na concentrations per dry mass were Mesretgamra, Korem and Edagaarbi, with 1559 ± 41 mg kg-1, 1532±12 mg kg-1 and 1172 ± 6 mg kg-1, respectively, and the site with the lowest Na concentration was Koladiba (201 ± 6 mg kg-1). The estimated minimum Na requirement for a healthy person above 18 is 500 mg per day (WARDLAW, 1997). The AI (Adequate Intake) for Na for older and elderly adults has been set at 1.3 g per day for men and women from 50 to 70 years of age, and at 1.2 g per day for those over 70 (JENNIFER et al., 2006).

The three sample sites with the highest Mg concentrations were Korem, Ambagiorgis and Bichena with concentrations of 102±6 mg kg-1, 99 ± 2 mg kg-1 and 96±5 mg kg-1, respectively, and the site with the lowest Mg concentration in its fenugreek seeds was Koladiba (31 ± 4 mg kg-1). The amount of Mg that can be obtained from fenugreek seeds is very small and hence people are recommended to eat other foods to attain the required amount of Mg.

The three sample sites with the highest Fe concentrations in their fenugreek seed samples were Mayadrasha, Denboskie and Adet with concentrations of 18584 ± 1339 mg kg-1, 17807 ± 1109 mg kg-1 and 17318 ± 1049 mg kg-1, respectively. Conversely, the sample site with the lowest Fe concentration was Keteteekli, with 6041 ± 745 mg kg-1. The recommended dietary allowance for Fe for those in the 23-50 year old group is 10 mg per day for men and 18 mg per day for women (WARDLAW, 1997). The Fe concentration determined in fenugreek is very high when compared to the above mentioned values, and therefore people are recommended not to consume this seed regularly. Koladiba, Dabat and Debrebirhan were amongst the sample sites with the highest Cr concentrations, with values of 552 ± 9 mg kg-1, 419 ± 42 mg kg-1 and 413 ± 37 mg kg-1, respectively. The lowest Cr concentration (3 ± 0.5 mg kg-1) per dry mass in fenugreek seed was recorded at the Korem site. The AI for Cr is 35 µg per day and 25 µg per day, for young men and young women, respectively (EFSA, 2014). In addition to the above, the ESADDIs for Cr for adults is 50-200 µg per day (WARDLAW, 1997). Fenugreek seed is rich in Cr, and should therefore not be taken daily in large quantities, so as to minimize the risk of Cr contamination. The three sample sites with the highest Ni concentrations were Ambagiorgis, Dabat and Jehaniagiorgis with concentrations of 117 ± 15 mg kg-1, 115 ± 5 mg kg-1 and 108 ± 12 mg kg-1, respectively, and that with the lowest Ni concentration was Keteteekli (31 ± 5 mg kg-1). The adequate intake of Ni for people above the age of 19 is 2.3 mg per day for males and 1.8 mg per day for females (JENNIFER et al., 2006).

The three sample sites with the highest Zn concentrations were Denboskie, Hatsebo and Dabat with the following concentrations: 33 ± 0.3 mg kg-1, 30 ± 0.2 mg kg-1 and 28 ± 0.4 mg kg-1, respectively, and that with the lowest Zn concentration was Bichena (15 ± 0.7 mg kg-1). The ESADDIs and RDA for Zn for people in the age range from 25-50 is 15 mg per day (WARDLAW, 1997). The three sample sites with the highest Mn concentrations per dry mass were Hatsebo, Mayadrasha and Debrebirhan with concentrations of 28 ± 0.8 mg kg-1, 22 ± 0.8 mg kg-1 and 21 ± 0.7 mg kg-1, respectively, and the lowest Mn concentrations were recorded in Meseretgamra, Dabat and Denboskie (16 ± 0.5 mg kg-1, 16 ± 0.3 mg kg-1 and 16 ± 0.4 mg kg-1, respectively). For adults, the estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake (ESADDIS) for Mn is from 2-5 mg per day (WARDLAW, 1997).

The sample sites with the highest Cu concentrations were Mayadrasha (35 ± 1 mg kg-1) and Edagaarbi (35 ± 1 mg kg-1) followed by Debrebirhan with 28 ± 4 mg kg-1 of fenugreek seed per dry mass. However Cu was not detected at the Jehaniagiorgis sample site. The ESADDI for Cu for adults is 1.5-3 mg per day (WARDLAW, 1997). The three sample sites with the greatest Co concentrations were Hatsebo, Jehaniagiorgis and Edagaarbi with values of 15 ± 0.4 mg kg-1, 15 ± 0.6 mg kg-1 and 14 ± 0.7 mg kg-1, respectively, and that with the lowest Co concentration was Keteteekli, with 4 ± 0.3 mg kg-1 per dry mass.

The Meseretgamra, Debrebirhan and Edagaarbi sites recorded the highst Pb concentrations when compared with the other sample sites, with 2624 ± 101 mg kg-1, 1814 ± 67 mg kg-1 and 1776 ± 145 mg kg-1 Pb per dry mass, respectively, and the Bichena sample site showed the lowest Pb concentration (422 ± 42 mg kg-1). The three highest Cd concentrations (464 ± 14 mg kg-1, 463 ± 10 mg kg-1 and 396 ± 10 mg kg-1) were recorded at the Dabat, Bichena and Keteteekli sample sites, respectively, whereas the sites at Adet and Meseretgamra recorded the lowest Cd concentrations of 285 ± 22 mg kg-1 and 285 ± 32 mg kg-1 per dry mass, respectively. Of all the metals determined in fenugreek seeds in this study, Co showed the lowest concentration with a mean value of Co 11 mg kg-1 per dry mass.

3.3 Comparison of the metal concentrations found in fenugreek seeds in this study with the data found in the literature

Table 2 shows the comparison between the metal contents found in the Ethiopian fenugreek samples with the data found in the literature. The Ca concentration found in fenugreek seed was highest in Ethiopia (26364 mg kg-1) followed by Turkey (2341±146 mg kg-1), UAE (84 mg kg-1) and the lowest value in Saudi Arabia (1.28 mg kg-1). The K concentration found in Ethiopia was intermediate (9120 mg kg-1) between the K concentrations found in Saudi Arabia (272 mg kg-1) and in UAE (18203 mg kg-1). The Na concentration found in the fenugreek seeds in UAE (37280 mg kg-1) was considerably higher than the concentrations found in Ethiopia (744 mg kg-1) and in Saudi Arabia (20.3 mg kg-1). The Mg concentration found in Ethiopia was the lowest (69 mg kg-1) as compared to the concentrations found in UAE (168 mg kg-1) and in Turkey (1373 ± 45 mg kg-1).

Table 2 Comparison of the metal concentrations found in the fenugreek seeds used in this study with results found in the literature. 

Sample origin Concentration in mg kg-1 Ref.
Ca K Na Mg Fe Cr Ni Zn Mn Cu Co Pb Cd
India 57310 31050 47150 1790 5610 4880 1770 (GIRISHA; RAGAVENDRA, 2009)
India 56380 42250 65480 4280 9180 5620 1360 (GIRISHA; RAGAVENDRA, 2009)
Turkey 2341 1373 62.6 0.6 2.1 54.6 15.9 9.4 0.41 0.4 0.13 (KAN et al., 2005)
Iran 702 23.0 111 28.0 (FATIMA et al., 2005)
Egypt 14.6 7.3 0.3 0.2 (SALAMA; RADWAN, 2005)
UAE 84 18203 37280 168 588 1.8 3.0 48 0.14 0.25 0.30 (KHAN, et al., 2006)
Iran 702 23.0 111 28.0 (FATIMA et al., 2005)
Saudi Arabia 1.3 276 20.3 2.7 0.375 0.104 0.091 0.017 (RANDHIR et al., 2004)
Ethiopia 26364 8448 744 69 14077 278 81 23 19 17 11 1330 344 This
study

The fenugreek seeds from Ethiopia contained the highest (14077 mg kg-1) Fe concentration, probably due to the fact that the Ethiopian soils are rich in Fe minerals, e.g. Fe2O3. The second highest Fe concentration was found in the fenugreek seeds from Iran (702 ± 30 mg kg-1), followed by UAE (588 mg kg-1), Turkey (62.6±5.4 mg kg-1) and the lowest value from Saudi Arabia, with only (2.74 mg kg-1). The Cr concentrations found in India were much larger (56380-57310 mg kg-1) than the others, followed by Ethiopia (278 mg kg-1), Iran (23.0±1.6 mg kg-1), UAE (1.8 mg kg-1) and the lowest concentration from Turkey, with (0.64 ± 0.29 mg kg-1). The Ni concentration in fenugreek seed was also much greater in the Indian samples than in the others (31050-42250 mg kg-1), followed by Ethiopia (18 mg kg-1), UAE (3.0 mg kg-1) and the lowest recorded value in Turkey (2.085 ± 0.623 mg kg-1). The highest Zn concentration was observed in India with a range from (47150-65480 mg kg-1), followed by Iran (111 ± 13 mg kg-1), Turkey (54.6 ± 5.2 mg kg-1), Ethiopia (23 mg kg-1), Egypt (14.6 ± 4.6 mg kg-1) and the lowest value in Saudi Arabia (23 mg kg-1). The Mn concentration found in Ethiopian fenugreek seed was intermediate (19 mg kg-1) when compared to the others, the highest concentration being recorded in UAE (48 mg kg-1) followed by Iran (28.0 ± 1.3 mg kg-1), and the lowest value in Turkey with a concentration of (15.9 ± 1.4 mg kg-1). The Cu concentration in the fenugreek seeds from India was far greater than in the others, with a range from (1790-4280 mg kg-1), followed by Ethiopia (17 mg kg-1), Turkey (9.4 ± 1.3 mg kg-1), Egypt (7.25 ± 0.29 mg kg-1), UAE (0.14 mg kg-1) and the lowest value of (0.104 mg kg-1) from Saudi Arabia. Similarly the Co concentration in the Indian fenugreek seeds was much higher (5610-9180 mg kg-1) than in Ethiopia (11 mg kg-1) and Turkey (0.413 ± 0.067 mg kg-1), and Co was not detected in the Saudi Arabian fenugreek seed.

The Cd concentration was highest in the Indian fenugreek seeds (1360-1770 mg kg-1) followed by Ethiopia (344 mg kg-1), UAE (0.30 mg kg-1), Egypt (0.15 ± 0.11 mg kg-1), and Turkey (0.127 ± 0.068 mg kg-1), with the lowest value recorded in Saudi Arabia (0.017 mg kg-1). The Pb concentration was highest in India (5620-4880 mg kg-1) followed by Ethiopia (1330 mg kg-1), Turkey (0.39 ± 0.31 mg kg-1), Egypt (0.26 ± 0.12 mg kg-1), UAE (0.25 mg kg-1) and Saudi Arabia (ND-0.091 mg kg-1). However, the Indian fenugreek was grown in an industrially polluted area and treated with sludge water.

Thus the concentrations of the toxic metals Cd and Pb were higher in the Ethiopian fenugreek seed than in the fenugreek seeds from the other countries, except from India. Hence, the government or authorized bodies should make people aware of the risk of ingesting these metals from the regular intake of fenugreek seed in foods.

3.4 Comparison of the metal concentrations found in fenugreek seeds with those found in other spices

The metal concentrations determined in the fenugreek seeds were compared with the values found in other spices in Ethiopia (Table 3). These spices were red pepper, ginger, korarima, cardamom, fennel and thyme. The highest Ca concentration was recorded in fenugreek seeds (15353-36771 mg kg-1) and the lowest in red peppers (161-222 mg kg-1). The decreasing order of the Ca concentrations in these spices was as follows: fenugreek seed > fennel > cardamom > thyme > ginger > korarima > red pepper. The K concentration in fenugreek seed was (6789-11517 mg kg-1) and in red peppers (2378-2486 mg kg-1) while its concentration was not reported in the other spices. The Na concentration in fenugreek seed was (201-1559 mg kg-1) and in red peppers (75-93 mg kg-1) and again its concentration was not reported in the other spices. The highest Mg concentration was observed in ginger (2700-4094 mg kg-1) and the lowest in fenugreek seed (31-102 mg kg-1) while its concentration was not reported in red peppers. The decreasing order for the concentration of Mg in these spices was as follows: ginger > fennel > cardamom > korarima > thyme > fenugreek seed.

Table 3 Comparison of the metal concentrations found in fenugreek seed with the values found in other spices as reported, in the literature. 

Metal Concentration (mg kg-1) in different types of spice samples
Fenugreek Red pepper Ginger Korarima Cardamom* Fennel Thyme
Ca 15353-36771 161-222 2000-2540 1794-2181 2719 ± 35 20500-23000 1239-2776
K 6789-11517 2378-2486
Na 201-1559 75-93
Mg 31-102 2700-4090 1626-2067 2390 ± 41 1310-3460 1524-1786
Fe 6041-18584 99.5-157 41.8-89.0 37.0-46.5 64.8 ± 2.2 1140-1900 728-2517
Cr 3-552 27.5-73.6 6.02-10.8 3.8-5.8 8.3 ± 0.7 90.9-97.7
Ni 31-108 2.7-6.7 5.61-8.40 6.6-8.5 11.7 ± 0.5 18.7-24.2 9.83-14.2
Zn 15-33 20.8-58.4 38.5-55.2 12-18 19.6 ± 0.9 37.1-44.7 8.7-52
Mn 16-28 9.7-18.9 184-401 144-180 355.4 ± 9.8 30.6-51.4 37.7-114
Cu ND-35 2.1-3.7 1.10-4.78 5.8- 8.3 9.5 ± 1.0 23.9-103 7.69-10.1
Co 4-15 1.0-2.2 2.04-7.58 2.0-2.3 2.6 ± 0.2 26.2-70.8 2.59-4.50
Pb 615-1814 ND ND ND ND
Cd 285-464 0.20-0.23 0.38-0.97 0.9-1.0 0.87±0.07 1.59-1.91 0.87-1.3
Ref. This study (TEFERA; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2016) (WAGESHO; CHANDRA-VANSHI, 2015) (MEKASSA; CHANDRA-VANSHI, 2015) (MEKASSA; CHANDRA-VANSHI, 2015) (ENDALAMAW; CHANDRAVANSHI, 2015) (DERBIE; CHANDRAVANSHI,
2011)

*The values are the mean ± SD.

ND = Not detected. ─ = Not reported.

The highest Fe concentration was recorded in fenugreek seed (6041-18584 mg kg-1) and the lowest in korarima (37–46.5 mg kg-1). The decreasing order for the concentration of Fe in these spices was as follows: fenugreek seed > thyme > fennel > red pepper > ginger > cardamom > korarima. The Cr concentration was highest (3-552 mg kg-1) in fenugreek and lowest in korarima (3.8–5.8 mg kg-1) and its concentration was not reported in thyme. The decreasing order for the concentration of Cr in these spices was as follows: fenugreek seed > fennel > red pepper > ginger > cardamom > korarima. The highest Ni concentration was recorded in fenugreek seed (31-108 mg kg-1) and the lowest in red peppers (2.7-6.7 mg kg-1). The decreasing order for the concentration of Ni in these spices was as follows: fenugreek seed > fennel > thyme > cardamom > korarima > ginger > red pepper. The highest Zn concentration was recorded in ginger (38.5-55.2 mg kg-1) and the lowest in korarima (12-18 mg kg-1) while the Zn concentration in fenugreek seed was between these two concentrations. The lowest Mn concentration in these spices was recorded in fenugreek seed (16-28 mg kg-1) and the highest in ginger (184-401 mg kg-1). The decreasing order for the Mn concentration in these spices was as follows: ginger > cardamom > korarima > thyme > fennel > red pepper > fenugreek seed. The highest Cu concentration was recorded in fennel (23.9-103 mg kg-1) and the lowest in red peppers (2.1-3.7 mg kg-1). The decreasing order for the concentration of Cu in these spices was as follows: fennel > fenugreek > thyme > cardamom > korarima > ginger > red pepper. The Co concentration was the highest in fennel (26.2-70.8 mg kg-1) and the lowest in red peppers (1.0-2.2 mg kg-1). and the Co concentration in fenugreek was between these two concentrations. The decreasing order for the concentration of Co in these spices was as follows: fennel > fenugreek > ginger > thyme > cardamom > korarima > red pepper.

However, the Pb concentration in fenugreek was very high (615-1814 mg kg-1) whereas it was not detected in the other spices. Cd was studied in all the spices and the highest concentration was recorded in fenugreek (285-464 mg kg-1) whilst the lowest was found in red peppers (0.20-0.23 mg kg-1). The decreasing order for the concentration of Cd in these spices was as follows: fenugreek > fennel > thyme > korarima > cardamom > ginger > red pepper.

3.5 Analysis of variance

ANOVA is an extremely powerful statistical technique which can be used to separate and estimate the different causes of variation (MILLER; MILLER, 2000). In this study a one way ANOVA was used with the help of the SPSS software program to compare the means of more than two groups of samples. ANOVA uses the F-test statistic to compare whether the differences between the sample means are significant or not (MILLER; MILLER, 2000).

In the present study Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek seed) samples were collected from 14 different regions of Ethiopia and the metal levels of 13 metals determined using FAAS. However, the sample preparation and digestion process could result in random errors during the instrumental analysis. Therefore a one way ANOVA was used with the help of the SPSS software program to analyse the variance that could result from the differences in the metal contents of the soils from the different sample sites, the acidity of the soil, the atmospheric condition of the environment, water, fertilizers, etc.

Table 4 shows that all the sample means had significant differences at F13,28 at a 95% confidence level. Nevertheless, no significant difference was observed between the sample means in the case of Zn. The significant differences in the means of the samples could be due to differences in the metal contents of the soils at these sample sites, the pH of the soils and the type of fertilizers used at these sites. However, the difference between the sample means for Zn was not significant at F13,28 for a 95% confidence level, most probably due to random errors in the analytical procedures and instrumental errors.

Table 4 Analysis of variance between and within samples of fenugreek seed samples at a 95% confidence level. 

Metal Comparison Df Fcalculated Fcritical Remark
Ca Between Groups 13 14.1 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
K Between Groups 13 97.6 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Na Between Groups 13 8.87 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Mg Between Groups 13 39.5 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Fe Between Groups 13 3.95 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Cr Between Groups 13 12.5 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Ni Between Groups 13 18.9 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Zn Between Groups 13 1.57 1.75 No Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Mn Between Groups 13 36.1 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Cu Between Groups 13 194 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Co Between Groups 13 43.2 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Pb Between Groups 13 603 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28
Cd Between Groups 13 31.5 1.75 Significant difference between sample means
Within Groups 28

Df is degree of freedom.

3.6 Pearson’s correlation for the metals in the fenugreek seed samples

The product moment-correlation coefficient (r) has values that range from -1 ≤ r ≤ +1. The r value of -1 describes a perfect negative correlation, i.e. all the experimental points lie on a straight line with a negative slope. Similarly, the r value of +1 describes a perfect positive correlation, all the points lying exactly on a straight line with a positive slope. However, a zero r value does not mean that the two components (e.g. y and x in the formula) are entirely unrelated; it only means that they are not linearly related (MILLER; MILLER, 2000). Table 5 shows the values obtained for the correlation coefficients between the metal concentrations found in the fenugreek seed samples. The fenugreek seed metal vs. fenugreek seed metal system showed good positive correlations for Na–Pb, Mn–Co and Fe–K with corresponding r values of 0.659, 0.521 and 0.526, respectively. However, an inverse relationship occurred between Na and Cr (-0.698). All the other relationships showed weak positive or negative linear relationships, which implies that the presence of one metal did not affect the presence of the other metal within the plant.

Table 5 Pearson’s correlation of the fenugreek seed metals vs. fenugreek seed metals system. 

Ca K Na Mg Fe Cr Ni Zn Mn Cu Co Pb Cd
Ca 1.000
K 0.158 1.000
Na 0.313 0.215 1.000
Mg 0.109 0.182 0.140 1.000
Fe 0.203 0.526 0.342 0.123 1.000
Cr 0.080 0.252 -0.698 -0.334 0.043 1.000
Ni -0.062 0.146 0.179 0.153 0.021 -0.253 1.000
Zn 0.047 -0.386 -0.237 -0.066 -0.108 0.133 -0.177 1.000
Mn -0.491 -0.252 -0.291 -0.208 -0.151 -0.128 -0.147 0.204 1.000
Cu 0.292 0.220 0.405 -0.032 0.315 -0.192 -0.348 0.125 0.336 1.000
Co 0.105 0.160 0.010 -0.072 0.230 -0.163 0.251 0.038 0.521 0.472 1.000
Pb 0.106 0.191 0.659 -0.127 -0.011 -0.475 -0.299 -0.458 -0.086 0.448 0.035 1.000
Cd 0.025 -0.026 -0.319 0.081 -0.021 0.391 -0.122 -0.040 -0.126 -0.376 -0.179 0.320 1.000

4 Conclusions

The levels of the major (Ca, K, Na, Mg), trace (Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co) and toxic (Pb, Cd) metals in Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek seed) grown in different parts of Ethiopia, were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry.

The levels of these metals were found in the following ranges and order in the fenugreek seeds; Ca (15353-36771 mg kg-1) > Fe (6041-18584 mg kg-1) ≈ K (6789-11517 mg kg-1) > Pb (615-2624 mg kg-1) > Na (201-1559 mg kg-1) > Cd (285-464 mg kg-1) > Cr (3-552 mg kg-1) > Ni (31-108 mg kg-1) > Mg (31-102 mg kg-1) > Zn (15-33 mg kg-1) > Mn (16-28 mg kg-1) > Cu (ND-35 mg kg-1) > Co (4-15 mg kg-1). The result of this study shows that the fenugreek seeds cultivated in Ethiopia are rich in all the above mentioned essential and toxic metals. The one-way ANOVA results at a 95% confidence level showed that there were significant differences amongst the mean concentrations of all the metals with the exception of Zn. This result can be attributed to differences in the pH of the soils, mineral composition of the soils and type of fertilizers used. Furthermore, Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) was determined and used to correlate the metal concentrations amongst the fenugreek seed samples via the metal level vs. metal level system, and except for a few cases, most showed weak positive or negative linear relationships, indicating that the presence of one metal in the plant did not influence the presence of the other.

Fenugreek seed has many benefits for both producers and consumers in Ethiopia. However, some of the very toxic elements were found in high concentrations in this study, e.g. Pb and Cd, and the prolonged accumulation of heavy metals ingested via foodstuffs may lead to chronic effects on the kidney and liver of humans and cause the disruption of numerous biochemical processes, leading to cardiovascular, nervous, kidney and bone diseases. Therefore, government organs and other concerned bodies should strengthen the studies of metal levels in most of the widely used spices and herbal medicines.

Acknowledgements

The authors express their gratitude to the Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, for providing the laboratory facilities. Mebrahtu Hagos gratefully acknowledges the financial support received from the Abiyi Addi College of Teacher Education, Ethiopia.

Cite as: Levels of essential and toxic metals in fenugreek seeds (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum L.) cultivated in different parts of Ethiopia. Braz. J. Food Technol., v. 19, e2015059, 2016.

References

AHARI, D. S.; KASHI, A. K.; HASSANDOKHT, M. R.; AMRI, A.; ALIZADEH, K. Assessment of drought tolerance in Iranian fenugreek landraces. , Journal of Food Agriculture and EnvironmentHelsinki, v. 7, p. 414-419, 2009. [ Links ]

ASFAW, N.; DEMISSEW, S. Aromatic plants of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: Shama Books, 2009. p. 98-99. [ Links ]

BEKELE, E. Study on actual situation of medicinal plants in Ethiopia. Tokyo: Japan Association for International Collaboration of Agriculture and Forestry, 2007. p. 1-73. (v. 1). [ Links ]

CHANDRASHEKHAR, D.; KHADSE, B. K. In vivo anthelmintic activity of fenugreek seeds extract against Phertima postthuma., International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical SciencesMadurai, v. 1, p. 267-269, 2010. [ Links ]

DEMAN, J. M. Principles of food chemistry. 3rd ed. Maryland: Aspen Publishers, 1999. p. 209-223. [ Links ]

DERBIE, A.; CHANDRAVANSHI, B. S. Concentration levels of selected metals in the leaves of different species of thyme ( and ) grown in Ethiopia. T. schimperiT. vulgaris, Biological Trace Element ResearchLondon, v. 141, n. 1-3, p. 317-328, 2011. PMid:2049a9204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-010-8732-z. [ Links ]

EIBEN, C.; RASHWAN, A. A.; KUSTOS, K.; GÓDOR-SURMANN, K.; SZENDRŐ, Z.Effect of anise and fenugreek supplementation on performance of rabbit does. In: WORLD RABBIT CONGRESS, 8., 2004, Puebla. Proceedings... Castanet-Tolosan: World Rabbit Science Association, 2004. p. 805-810. [ Links ]

ENDALAMAW, F. D.; CHANDRAVANSHI, B. S. Levels of major and trace elements in fennel (Foeniculum vulgari Mill.) fruits cultivated in Ethiopia. , SpringerPlusSwitzerland, v. 4, n. 1, p. 5, 2015. PMid:25674492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-4-5. [ Links ]

ENKE, C. G. The art and science of chemical analysis. 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000. [ Links ]

EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY – EFSA. Conclusion on the peer review of pesticide risk assessement of the active substance fenugreek seed powder (FEN 560). , European Food Safety Authority JournalParma, v. 8, p. 1-50, 2010. [ Links ]

EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY – EFSA. Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. Scientific opinion on dietary reference values for chromium. , European Food Safety AuthorityParma, v. 12, n. 10, p. 1-25, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3845. [ Links ]

FATIMA, N.; MAQSOOD, Z. T.; KHAN, B. Study of some micronutrients in selected medicinal plants. , Scientica IranicaTehran, v. 12, p. 269-273, 2005. [ Links ]

GIRISHA, S. T.; RAGAVENDRA, V. B. Accumulation of heavy metals in leafy vegetables grown in urban areas by using sewage water and its effect. , Archives of Phytopathology and Plant ProtectionLondon, v. 42, n. 10, p. 956-959, 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03235400701543806. [ Links ]

HEDBERG, I.; EDWARDS, S. Flora of Ethiopia: Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. Addis Ababa: EMPDA, 1989. 246 p. [ Links ]

HOODA, S.; JOOD, S. Effect of fenugreek flour blending on physical, organoleptic and chemical characteristics of wheat bread. , Nutrition & Food ScienceLondon, v. 35, n. 4, p. 229-242, 2005. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00346650510605621. [ Links ]

IBRAHIUM, M. I.; HEGAZY, A. I. Iron bioavailability of wheat biscuit supplemented by fenugreek seed flour. World Journal of Agricultural SciencesDubai, v. 5, p. 769-776, 2009. [ Links ]

JENNIFER, J. O.; JENNIFER, P. H.; LINDA, D. M. Dietary reference intakes: the essential guide to nutrient requirements. Washington: The National Academic Press, 2006. p. 370-422. [ Links ]

KAN, Y.; KAN, A.; CEYHAN, T.; SAYAR, E.; KARTAL, M.; ALTUN, L.; ASLAN, S.; CEVHEROÐLU, S. Atomic absorption spectrometric analysis of L. seeds cultivated in Turkey. Trigonella foenum-graecum, Turkish Journal of Pharmaceutical ScienceAnkara, v. 2, p. 187-191, 2005. [ Links ]

KHAN, S. A.; AHMAD, I.; MOHAJIR, M. S. Evaluation of mineral contents of some edible medicinal plants. , Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical SciencesKarachi, v. 19, n. 2, p. 141-148, 2006. PMid:16751127. [ Links ]

LEIGH BROADHURST, C. Nutrition and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus from an anthropological perspective. , Alternative Medicine ReviewNapa, v. 2, p. 378-399, 1997. [ Links ]

MARZOUGUI, N.; GUASMI, F.; BOUBAYA, A.; ELFALLEH, W.; LACHIEHEB, B.; FERCHICHI, A.; BEJI, M. Assessment of Tunisian diversity using physiological parameters. Trigonella foenum-graecum, Journal of Food Agriculture and EnvironmentHelsinki, v. 7, p. 427-431, 2009. [ Links ]

MEKASSA, M.; CHANDRAVANSHI, B. S. Levels of selected essential and non-essential metals in seeds of korarima (Aframomum corrorima) cultivated in Ethiopia. , Brazilian Journal of Food TechnologyCampinas, v. 18, n. 2, p. 102-111, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1981-6723.5614. [ Links ]

MILLER, J. N.; MILLER, J. C. Statistics and chemometrics for analytical chemistry. 4th ed. Great Britain: Pearson Pentice Hall, 2000. [ Links ]

RANDHIR, R.; LIN, Y.; SHETTY, K. Phenolics, their antioxidant and antimicrobial activity in dark germinated fenugreek sprouts in response to peptide and phytochemical elicitors. , Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical NutritionLondon, v. 13, n. 3, p. 295-307, 2004. PMid:15331344. [ Links ]

SALAMA, A. K.; RADWAN, M. A.Heavy metals (Cd, Pb) and trace elements (Cu, Zn) contents in some foodstuffs from the Egyptian market. , Emirates Journal of Agricultural SciencesAl Ain, v. 17, n. 1, p. 34-42, 2005. http://dx.doi.org/10.9755/ejfa.v12i1.5046. [ Links ]

SKOOG, D. A.; WEST, D. M.; HOLLER, F. J. Fundamentals of analytical chemistry. 7th ed. Orlando: Thomsons learning Inc., 1996. 736 p. [ Links ]

SOYLAK, M.; TUZEN, M.; NARIN, I.; SARI, H. Comparison of microwave, dry and wet digestion procedures for determination of trace metal contents in spice samples produced in Turkey. , Journal of Food and Drug AnalysisNew Taipei, v. 12, p. 254-258, 2004. [ Links ]

SUSHMA, N.; DEVASENA, T. Aqueous extract of (fenugreek) prevents cypermethrin-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Trigonella foenum graecum, Human and Experimental ToxicologyLondon, v. 29, n. 4, p. 311-319, 2010. PMid:20147568. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0960327110361502. [ Links ]

TEFERA, M.; CHANDRAVANSHI, B. S. Assessment of metal contents in commercially available Ethiopian red pepper. , International Food Research JournalSelangor, 2016. In press. [ Links ]

WAGESHO, Y.; CHANDRAVANSHI, B. S. Levels of essential and non-essential metals in ginger (Zingiber officinale, SpringerPlus) cultivated in Ethiopia. Switzerland, v. 4, n. 1, p. 107, 2015. PMid:25789209.http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-0899-5. [ Links ]

WARDLAW, G. M. Contemporary nutrition. 3rd ed. Madison: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1997. p. 330-332. [ Links ]

ZIA, T.; SIDDIQUI, I. A.; SHAUKAT, S. S.; NAZARUL-HASNAIN, S. Trigonella foenum- graecum (fenugreek) - mediated suppression of meloidogyne javanica in mungbean. , Archives of Phytopathology and Plant ProtectionLondon, v. 36, n. 1, p. 23-31, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0323540031000080164. [ Links ]

Received: July 16, 2016; Accepted: September 20, 2016

*Bhagwan Singh Chandravanshi, Addis Ababa University, Department of Chemistry, P. O. Box: 1176, Addis Ababa - Ethiopia, e-mail: bscv2006@yahoo.com

Creative Commons License This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited