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Heavy Metal Contamination in Food

Heavy metals are naturally present in a low amount in our surroundings. Through food, the air, and drinking water, we absorb some trace amounts of heavy metals. These trace amounts include zinc, selenium, and copper, and they are key to maintaining metabolism within the human body. On the other hand, high heavy metal concentrations are usually found in commonly contaminated surroundings, such as contaminated water and industrial waste areas. In these environments, heavy metals may result in poisonings that can result in the impairment of the mental, as well as the central nervous system, along with other organs.

Heavy Metals and Food
Cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury, as well as inorganic tin, are often the causes for most metal poisoning scenarios in food. Arsenic levels are relatively high in seafood and fish. Cadmium is often found in soil, through the use of fungicides, insecticides commercial fertilizers, and sludge. On the other hand, mercury is a common industrial pollutant and a by-product of emissions from volcanoes. 

During the past few years, there have been some products, from baby formula to protein shakes, and even fresh produce, which was connected to heavy metal contamination in food. Because of reports and calls for safer options, regulatory agencies all over the world are currently taking steps in order to detect and potentially minimise the actual presence of these dangerous heavy metals that can be found on food. 

For instance, the European Union has already set a maximum allowed concentration for these heavy metals in food. At the same time, the FDA has enforced actions against these poisonous substances found in human food, as well as animal feed, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and several others. 

As of the moment, arsenic found in apple juice may depict the relatively growing worries regarding the prevalence of heavy metal contamination in food. Arsenic, for instance, is present in our surroundings in two basic types: organic and inorganic. Since the organic type of arsenic quickly passes in our body, the FDA has ruled it harmless. On the other hand, the inorganic type is typically present in pesticides, which means that they can be toxic and dangerous to health when consumed at higher levels at a prolonged period of time. 

As a response to these growing concerns, the refinement and development of certain analytical methods have further made it possible for the detection of different heavy metals at low levels in various foods. This includes testing their presence on common shelf items including fruit juices, as well as other food product forms. Heavy metal contamination in food is now considered a leading concern in the food industry, most importantly with exporters, which means that comprehensive testing procedures should be performed to ensure the safety of products.
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