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Trace metal levels in Queensland dairy products

Authors: G.E. Mitchell


Atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to determine the levels of trace metals in samples of market milk and a range of dairy products from 33 Queensland dairy factories. A year-long survey showed that the mean values for homogenized market milk were: cadmium 0.006 ±S.E.0.003 ppm; chromium 0.017 ± 0.0006 ppm; copper 0.233 ± 0.0069 ppm; iron 0.729 ± 0.0251; lead 0.039 ± 0.0014 ppm and zinc 4.878 ± 0.0858 ppm. Results for mercury were all less than 0.002 ppm and those for nickel were all less than 0.01 ppm. In general it was concluded that during the manufacture of various dairy products from milk further trace metal contamination was minimal. No significant geographical differences were found, but significant seasonal differences were found for cadmium, chromium, iron and lead with the highest results being recorded in the winter period.

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