Naglaa F Soliman
Tea is one of the most common beverages in all over the world. Next to water, it is the most consumed beverage. During the last decades, there has been an extensive increase in the level of heavy metals in tea and other foods. The contamination of tea by heavy metals may pose a serious threat to human due to their toxicity, wide sources, non-biodegradable properties and accumulative behaviors. The aim of this study was to investigate the copper, iron and lead content of several commercially available brands of tea (Camellia sinensis) in Egypt. Ten of the most widely consumed brands of black tea were purchased from local markets. Copper, Iron and Lead contents in the tea were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer after acid digestion. Among the investigated metals Fe was the highest (193.82 μg/g). Copper was the second highest (16.18 μg/g) metal found in black tea samples, whereas Pb showed minimum levels (1.41 μg/g). The data obtained in the present work compared well with the counterpart data reported internationally. Based upon the present safety standards, the tea versions selected in the present study were found to be safe for human consumption. On the other hand, routine check and frequent analysis of foodstuff is also required with intention to avoid the risk of exceeding the intake beyond the tolerance limits standards.