Heavy metal and trace element residues and health risk assessment in raw milk and dairy products with a trail for removal of copper residues

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of food control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt.

2 Animal Health Institute-Zagazig.


This study was conducted to determine the residues of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), and Copper (Cu) in raw milk of different species and dairy products, and to estimate the dietary intake of such metals, as well as to evaluate the potential health hazards of these metals to humans through consuming milk and dairy products. On the other hand, we made a trial to remove copper residues using adsorption properties of the resin. Therefore, a total of 120 random samples of milk and dairy products, including 80 samples of raw milk of different species from different dairy shops, and farms in Sharkia Governorate, Egypt, in addition to 20 samples for each of UHT milk and Kariesh cheese, were collected. Pb and Cu residues in the examined samples were ranged from 1.85–2.78, 0.009–0.81ppm, respectively, while Cd was detected only in raw goat's milk and kariesh cheese samples. However, it is worth to clear that Pb was recorded the highest levels in the examined samples, since most of samples were over the permissible level of 0.1 mg/kg established by Egyptian Standard. Human health risk associated with consuming milk and other examined dairy products was identified using Target Health Quotient (THQ) showed that Pb is the most dangerous element measured in these products as its value was more than one in 66.7% of samples. In the present study, performance of IMAC HP resin was assessed for the first time for removal of Cu ions from artificially contaminated raw cow's milk, although it is used extensively to purify water from heavy metals. It was noticed that the removal efficiency of Cu ions increased with higher resin concentration, and increasing time, as maximum removal percent (76.89%) was achieved by using 0.8 g/L. IMAC HP resin after 45 min. Finally, it was concluded that this type of resin is suitable for the adsorption of Cu ions from artificially contaminated raw milk.   


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