Heavy Metals in Street-Roasted Food and Home-Oven-Roasted Foods.
Economic crises have led to an increase in entrepreneurial activities like street food vending. However, roasting food on the streets can increase food contamination. This study compares the concentrations of heavy metals such as Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, and Zn in home-roasted and street-roasted chicken, maize, meat, fish, and plantain in Nigeria. The food samples were digested with acid, and the concentrations of these elements in the digests were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. The results showed that the concentrations of the heavy metals in street-roasted food were higher than in home-roasted food. The mean concentration of these metals in street-roasted food decreased in the following order: Fe > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Cd and in home-roasted food in the decreasing order: Fe > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cd > Cu. Moreover, the total heavy metal concentration in street-roasted food followed the decreasing order: Maize > Meat > Chicken > Plantain > Fish, and in home-roasted food, the decreasing order: Fish > Chicken > Maize >Plantain > Meat. The highest risk among the heavy metals studied is posed by Pb, which is likely to pose a risk to both adults and children due to the Target Hazard Quotient of above 1. The findings emphasized the importance of monitoring and regulating the street food industry to reduce the health risks linked with consuming contaminated food.