AbstractIntroduction. Fish can sometimes be contaminated with several highly toxic substances at once, e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, and preservatives. In this regard, it is essential to determine the presence of these harmful chemicals in fish products. The research objective was to analyze the level of organochlorine pesticide residues and other toxic substances in Tenualosa ilisha L.
Study objects and methods. The study featured organochlorine pesticide residues and other toxic substances in raw and cooked samples of fresh and salted T. ilisha, which is a popular dish in Northeast India, especially in the state of Tripura. The analysis involved tests for formaldehyde, pesticides, and heavy metals. Formaldehyde content was estimated using high-performance liquid chromatography, pesticides content – by low-pressure gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry, and heavy metals – by inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry.
Results and discussion. The salted samples had a high content of formaldehyde, though it remained within the normal range. Both fresh and salted samples demonstrated high concentrations of heavy metals such as zinc, copper, and selenium. The salted sample appeared to have a high content of toxic organochlorine pesticide residues. Frying and boiling of fresh and salted fish decreased formaldehyde and organochlorine pesticide residue contents but did not reduce heavy metal content.
Conclusion. T. ilisha was found to be quite safe for human health.
KeywordsTenualosa ilisha, formaldehyde, pesticides, heavy metals, cooking, chromatography, spectrometry
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