Trace Metal Contents in Seaweeds from Korean Coastal Area

한국 연안 해조류의 미량금속 함량

  • Kim, Ji-Hoe (Food Sanitation Research Team, National Fisheries Research & Development Institute) ;
  • Mok, Jong-Soo (Food Sanitation Research Team, National Fisheries Research & Development Institute) ;
  • Park, Hee-Yeon (Food Sanitation Research Team, National Fisheries Research & Development Institute)
  • 김지회 (국립수산과학원 식품위생팀) ;
  • 목종수 (국립수산과학원 식품위생팀) ;
  • 박희연 (국립수산과학원 식품위생팀)
  • Published : 2005.08.01


In order to assure the safety of the seaweeds, we measured the contents of the trace metals in the seaweeds harvested from Korean coastal area. We collected 620 marine algal samples from fourteen areas, and then analyzed the trace metals such as Hg, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. The contents of Hg, Cd, Ni and Mn were higher in the seaweeds collected from Chungnam Taean area. The contents of Cr and Cu were higher in the seaweeds collected from Yeongdeok and Tongyeong area, respectively. And Pb and Zn were highly detected from the seaweeds of Ulsan area. The mean levels of trace metals were high in the order of Zn $(48.02\pm41.20{\mu}g/g)\;>\;Mn (34.63\pm38.95{\mu}g/g)\;>\;Cu(6.29\pm6.52{\mu}g/g)\;>\;Ni(2.17\pm4.00{\mu}g/g)\; >\;Cr(1.61\pm2.35{\mu}g/g)\;>\;Pb(1.28\pm2.37{\mu}g/g)\;>\; Cd(0.67\pm0.75{\mu}g/g)\;>\;Hg(0.02\pm0.02{\mu}g/g)$. Zn was consistently most abundant metal in all samples, followed by Mn and Cu, which are very important for human health. There were higher contents of Hg and Cd in brown algae, the contents of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Pb in green algae, the content of Zn in red algae among them. Additionally, significant linear correlations were observed between a total 28 different pairs of metals, of them, the correlation factor between Cr and Ni showed the highest (r=0.374, p<0.001). The trace metal contents of seaweeds varied with habitats and kinds of samples, nevertheless they showed very safe level in edible seaweeds tested. Scytosiphon lomentaria, which has been known as a little use of food, have shown a clear selectivity for Cr and Pb. Among non-edible seaweeds, Sargassum thunbergii for both Cd and Mn, Lomentaria hakodatensis for Ni and Grateloupia prolongata for Zn have shown a clear selectivity, respectively. Therefore, these seaweeds could be useful as bioindicator for each trace metal pollution.


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