International Journal of Environmental Engineering
Author(s) : CRISTINA BARCIA, DANTE MARTINEZ, SOLEDAD CERUTTI , SONIA BARBERIS
The aim of this work is to evaluate the mineral and heavy metal contents of Acacia caven (Mol.) Molina pollen, a South American plant which grows in the Northwest of Argentina, for studying its behavior as bio-indicator of environmental pollution and their consequences as dietary supplement. Mineral and heavy metal contents were determined by flame atomic absorption / emission spectrometry (FAAS and FAES, respectively), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS). The obtained results demonstrated that some mineral contents (K, Ca, P, Fe, Mg, Na, Zn and Se) of Acacia caven pollen met the requirements of both, the Food and Nutritional Board (FNB) and the Argentinean Alimentarius Codex (AAC) to be used as a dietary supplement. Nevertheless, some heavy metals analyzed such as Al, Cu, Ni, V, Cr and Cd, exceeded the upper levels (UL) established by FNB and AAC, probably due to environmental contamination. Beyond the high level of some heavy metals found in the Acacia caven pollen, this could be an important dietary supplement by their high Fe and low Na contents. Considering that the suggested doses of commercial pollen by pharmacists and companies advice is 13.5 g/day, an only doses of Acacia caven pollen would satisfy the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Fe given by FNB for an adult individual. In spite of this promising date, further studies on the Fe bioavailability and heavy metal toxicity from Acacia caven pollen should be carried out for being used this pollen as dietary supplement.