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Heavy Metal Levels in Saudi Arabian Spirulina

Keywords: Spirulina , heavy metal content , Saudi Arabia

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A small farm of the microalga Spirulina platensis (Nordstedt) Geitler was established in Saudi Arabia in 1999. The levels of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) were measured in the final dry powder of this alga using atomic absorption spectroscopy. The content of As, Cd, Hg and Pb in the dry powder were very low and they ranged between 0.002 mg kg-1 for As and 0.109 mg kg-1 for Pb. Higher levels were found for Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn and they varied between 8.51 mg kg-1 for Cu and 394 mg kg-1 for Fe. The results indicated that the heavy metal content of Saudi Arabian Spirulina is within the recommended range established by major producers.


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