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THE CONTENT OF SOME CONTAMINANTS IN VEGETABLES GROWN ON SCHOOL GROUNDS


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Abstract

Introduction. Despite the fact that the state of school meals is monitored by the administration of educational institutions, authorities of Federal Service on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare Supervision, it is almost impossible to cover all safety measures with research on safety performance. As part of the study of the quality and safety of food products used in the diet of schoolchildren, there was carried out an analysis of vegetables grown in school grounds for the content of nitrates, pesticides, and macro- and microelements. Material and methods. Sampling of beets, carrots, and potatoes was carried out during the autumn period at school grounds in rural areas of the Republic of Bashkortostan. Macro- and trace elements (Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Al) were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry, pesticides (HCCH and DDT) were measured by gas chromatography, and nitrates were evaluated potentiometrically. Statistical data processing was performed using standard software, the results are expressed as medians or general average values with the corresponding standard deviations. Results. Organochlorine pesticides (HCH and DDT), the use of which is currently prohibited, have not been identified in vegetable samples, the levels of metals and nitrates are very variable and depended on both the type of product and the place of growth. The concentration of nitrates in beets and carrots exceeds the maximum permissible levels in 62.5% of samples, in potatoes - in 18.8%. Lead accumulation in vegetables has not been established, the maximum levels did not reach 0.2 MPU, the concentration of cadmium was higher than the permissible level in 6% of the samples analyzed. No elevated levels of iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, manganese were recorded; on the contrary, their lower concentrations were noted compared with the average Russian data. Conclusion. In connection with the detection of elevated concentrations of nitrates, it is necessary to strengthen control over the safety of vegetables grown in school grounds and used in school canteens.


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