HEAVY METAL CONCENTRATION AND POTENTIAL HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF TRADITIONAL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES PREPARED BY ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ASSAMBIJOY S. GOSWAMI, PURNIMA BORGOHAIN AND HRISHIKESH SARMA
The ethnic communities of Assam consume their own traditional alcoholic beverages which are mostly prepared by fermentation of rice. The consumption of fermented drinks is always considered to be their culture and existence of the ethnic tribes. Now a days the contamination of food beverages by heavy metal and its increasing effect on health is a matter of global concern. In the present work eight different rice beer samples are collected from different parts of Assam representing Ahom (Xajpani), Mising (Apong) and Karbi (Hor) community. In Total 11 heavy metals such Na, K, Cu, Pb, Mn, Co, Ni, Zn, Cd , Fe and As were determined respectively in all the samples. The source of the heavy metals may the raw materials, brewing water etc and this study was carried out with a view to providing information on the dietary intakes of these essential metals as well as its toxicity. The heavy metal concentration in the samples was determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. The mean concentration of metals (mg/L) in the samples was: 21.9 â 388.7 for Na; 6.8 â 664.6 for K; 0.04 â 0.24 for Cu; 0.01 â 0.06 for Pb; 1.4 â 8.8 for Mn; 0.007 â 0.06 for Co; 0.03 â 0.35 for Ni; 0.012 â 0.025 for Cd; 0.24 â 6.8 for Fe and 0.002 â 0.01 for As. The Zn could not be detected in any of the samples.