This study was undertaken to ascertain the safety level of consuming canned fish as it relates to metals. Seven commonly consumed canned fish brands stored in vegetable oil sold in Benin-City were bought from super stores and in the open markets and stored at ambient temperature between January to September, 2015. A total of 106 samples were collected and analysed in triplicates for iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) and vanadium (V); which were detected in all the canned fish samples but V had an average of 0.024mg/kg value during the study which was just a detection level. The heavy metal variation ranged between 2.21-21.38mgFe/kg, 5.41- 52.35mgZn/kg, 0.05-0.72mgMn/kg, 0.42-7.00mgNi/kg and 0.02-0.16mgV/kg respectively during the period of study. Generally, heavy metal concentration increased with increasing storage time especially Fe and Zn. There was significant difference in the mean concentration of the heavy metal levels evaluated during the period of study in the different brands ((p>0.05). The Laser, Soil and Titus sardines were significantly higher. However, all the metal concentrations were not significantly different (p>0.05) from the permissible set limits by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union (EU) legislation for fish except for nickel. Effort must therefore be made to comprehensively and intermittently monitor metal levels on arrival and during long time storage of canned fish. As this will not only help to safeguard the health of the citizenry but the point at which metal contamination occurs can be effectively deduced and appropriate measures could then be taken to prevent metal contamination.
Assessment, Canned fish, Metals, Nigeria, Vegetable oil
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