Research Article Open Access

Lead in Meat and Meat Products Consumed by the Population in Slovakia

Lukáčová Anetta1 and Golian Jozef1
  • 1 Slovak University of Agiculture, Slovakia


The presence of heavy metals in food is the consequence of atmosphere contamination of polluted soil, waters and results in contaminated feed with heavy metals. The lead concentrations depend on the environmental conditions and the food production methods. The monitoring of lead concentration in meat is important for human health. The aim of this study was to determine the level of lead in the traditional and popular meat products consumed in Slovak republic. This study was carried out to determine the levels of lead in Lovecka salami and selected Ham products during the technological processing. The raw materials originating from domestic and foreign production were compared. Lead concentrations were measured by the method of AA spectrometry with the graphite furnace (Perkin Elmer A Analyst 800; MA, USA). Mean concentration of lead in the starting materials in Lovecka salami for the pork of foreign production had the highest mean lead level (0.607 ppm), followed by beef from foreign production (0.518 ppm), pork from domestic production (0.377 ppm), pork bacon from foreign production (0.173 ppm), beef from domestic production (0.142 ppm) and pork bacon from domestic production (0.106 ppm). The highest concentrations of lead were found in the homogenized samples with addition of additives and spices (salt, sodium ascorbate, erythorbic acid, ground black pepper, sugar, garlic, starter culture) from foreign starting materials and final samples from foreign and domestic production in Lovecka salami (0.769; 0.811 and 0.676 ppm, respectively). The highest concentrations of lead in the selected Ham product were found in final sample from foreign production (0.813 ppm), followed by final sample from domestic production (0.740 ppm), homogenized sample with additives (salt, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate and Ascorbic acid) from foreign starting material and domestic starting material (0.791 and 0.697 ppm, respectively). The lowest mean Pb concentration in selected Ham was found in the starting materials (pork thigh) from domestic and foreign production (0.344 and 0.397 ppm, respectively). In the present study, samples of lead were higher than the maximum lead levels allowed by Commission Regulations (EC) No1881/2006. The allowable level for lead is 0.1 mg kg-1. Technological process of meat processing can create a potential source of heavy metals risk in final products. Improvements in the food production and processing technology are increasing the chances of food contamination with various environmental pollutants, especially heavy metals.

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Volume 9 No. 4, 2014, 263-268


Submitted On: 18 September 2014 Published On: 24 December 2014

How to Cite: Anetta, L. & Jozef, G. (2014). Lead in Meat and Meat Products Consumed by the Population in Slovakia. American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 9(4), 263-268.

  • 7 Citations



  • Lead
  • Meat
  • Meat Products
  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry