Analysis of metal contents in organically vs non-organically grown vegetables
Abstract The concentrations of copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) in organically and non-organically grown vegetables (spinach, pars-ley, and rocket) were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) using dried mass samples digested in concentrated nitric acid to assess differences between the farming practices. The concentration ranges of the heavy metals were 26.86–31.89 mg/kg for Cu, 81.57–368.99 mg/kg for Fe, and 47.58–119.86 mg/kg for Zn. In general, the organic vegetables tended to have higher heavy metal concentrations than their non-organic counterparts. Both farming techniques produced vegetables having metal contents below the allowable FAO/WHO limits, with the exception of high Zn levels in organic parsley (119.89 mg/kg).