Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2014, 2(1), 23-26
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-2-1-3
Open AccessArticle

Mercury Content in Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) and Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and Estimation of Mercury Intake

B.K.K.K. Jinadasa1, , S.B.N. Ahmad1, E.M.R.K.B. Edirisinghe2 and I. Wicramasinghe3

1Institute of Post-Harvest Technology (IPHT), National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Colombo, Sri Lanka

2Department of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

3Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

Pub. Date: February 23, 2014

Cite this paper:
B.K.K.K. Jinadasa, S.B.N. Ahmad, E.M.R.K.B. Edirisinghe and I. Wicramasinghe. Mercury Content in Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) and Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and Estimation of Mercury Intake. Journal of Food Security. 2014; 2(1):23-26. doi: 10.12691/jfs-2-1-3


Mercury (Hg) is a pollutant of global importance that adversely impacts ecological and human health. A total of 140 Thunnus albacores (yellowfin tuna) and 176 of Xiphias gladius (swordfish) samples collected from the Indian Ocean around Sri Lanka in the period of July 2009 to March 2010 were examined for total mercury content and used to evaluate the mercury intake of Sri Lankan population. Total mercury concentrations of muscular tissues of fish were determined using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. The results indicated that the highest mercury concentration were noted in swordfish 0.90±0.52 mg/kg, wet weight and followed by yellowfin tuna (0.30±0.18 mg/kg, wet weight). The projected intake values of mercury through human consumption were calculated (µg kg-1 body wt. weekly-1) and were compared with those of provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) per kg body weight as stipulated by the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) and Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).The estimated PTWI were lower than for yellowfin tuna and swordfish stipulated guidelines and therefore, was not considered to pose adverse effects to the humans with the present fish consumption volume.

mercury concentration fish food safety PTWI

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