Skip to content
Journal Title Abbrev.
J. Elem.
ISSN – 1644-2296
DOI: 10.5601

Search article

flag flag
An MIP-AES study of heavy metals in Egyptian honey: Toxicity assessment and potential health hazards to consumers

Issue: 2/2019

Recevied: May 23, 2018

Accepted: Oct 22, 2018

Published: 2019-01-28


Hassanin A., Kasiotis K., Malhat F., Shokr S.

Categories: Food science, Pollution and environment

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2018.23.4.1685


Heavy metals and trace elements in honey are beneficial for nutrition, but at certain levels they can aggravate health problems. The current study aimed to assess the content of selected heavy metals in honey samples collected from Egypt using the recently introduced Microwave Plasma – Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (MIP-AES), and to estimate their associated risk according to the Egyptian Standards. The analytical method was validated embracing well-established guidelines, exhibiting sufficient LOQs, in the range of 0.96-14.85 µg•kg-1. Recoveries at two concentration levels varied from 90-99%, with RSD% values not surpassing 13%. The matrix effect was alleviated by using an appropriate dilution (a dilution factor of approximately 50 was implemented) after the digestion step, reaching a good compromise for minimizing ME for all elements. Samples were analyzed for cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn). Analyses assisted by a robust statistical validity test revealed that mean concentrations of Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, and Zn were 5, 128, 462, 123, and 244 μg•kg-1, respectively. Out of the metals analyzed, Fe was the most abundant, followed by Zn, Cu, and Pb, while Cd was present in low concentrations. The amounts of studied heavy metals in honey were less than the recommended threshold levels according to the standard set by the Egyptian Organization of Standardization for fresh meat. The average daily intakes (ADI) of the detected heavy metals were much below the oral daily intake reference dose (RfD) suggested by the European regulations. The low calculated hazard index (HI) of the five heavy metals indicated that the intake of a single metal by consuming specific honeys did not pose a significant chronic-toxic risk for consumers.  


Malhat F., Kasiotis K.M., Hassanin A.S., Shokr S.A. 2019. An MIP-AES study of heavy metals in Egyptian honey: Toxicity assessment and potential health hazards to consumers. J. Elem., 24(2): 473-488. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2018.23.4.1685


Chemical analysis; heavy metals; honey; MIP-AES; risk assessment

About issue:

Download article