Evaluation of various soaking agents as a novel tool for heavy metal residues mitigation from spinach

Abstract Heavy metals pollution is a global threat to the environment and ecosystem due to various human and natural activities. Heavy metal intake through vegetables and diet leads to numerous ailments such as nervous disorder, kidney damage tubular growth and bone disease. The present study was conducted to mitigate the residue of heavy metals Hg, Pb, Zn and As in spinach collected from self-grown supervised field by using different washing treatments. Amount of trace metals was measured in fresh and chemically washed spinach samples with the help of Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). Results revealed that highest reduction of mercury, lead, zinc and arsenic residues with 10% citric acid was 23%, 28%, 54% and 22% respectively among the tested solutions. However, tap water treatment also reduced 7%, 7%, 15% and 6, respectively. Among various washing solutions citric acid proved maximum reduction potential followed by Lemon extract, sodium carbonate, reddish extract and hydrogen peroxide respectively. The percent reduction by various solutions ranged from 7 to 23%, 7 to 28%, 15 to 54% and 6 to 22% for elimination of mercury, lead, zinc and arsenic, respectively. More reduction was found in zinc followed lead, mercury and arsenic.