Scientific journal

52 2013

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 2 / 2013

Essential and toxic microelement profile of walnut (Juglans regia L.) cultivars grown in industrially contaminated area – Evaluation for human nutrition and health
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 52, 2013, No. 2, s. 121-127

Svetlana Momchilova, Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., bl. 9, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria. Tel.: +359 2 9606 135, fax: +359 2 8700 225, e-mail:

Summary: The levels of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se and Zn were determined in nuts of twelve walnut cultivars grown in a lead metallurgy-contaminated area in Bulgaria. The average microelement contents varied in the following ranges, depending on the cultivar: Cd, 0.013–0.045 mg·kg-1; Co, 0.05–0.38 mg·kg-1; Cr, 0.032–0.076 mg·kg-1; Cu, 15.4–20 mg·kg-1; Fe, 28–33 mg·kg-1; Mn, 31–36 mg·kg-1; Ni, 0.64–1.62 mg·kg-1; Pb, 0.08–0.20 mg·kg-1; Sb, 0.006–0.01 mg·kg-1; Se, 0.034–0.047 mg·kg-1 and Zn, 28–36 mg·kg-1. For comparison, the same analytes were determined in nut samples from seven unpolluted regions in Bulgaria. An overall trend of increased contents for Cd, Co, Cr, Ni and Pb at the polluted sites was observed. However, mean intakes of Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se and Zn from 50 g “polluted” walnuts were below the toxicological reference values. Likewise, the maximum walnut exposure to Cd, Pb and Sb represented only 10.5%, 4.7% and 0.1% of the respective tolerable maximum weekly intakes. Therefore, walnuts can be grown even in a polluted area without losing their nutritional qualities.

Keywords: walnuts; microelements; toxicity

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