Abstract The study was conducted in order to determine the effect of metallic manual grinding machine on metal concentrations in food condiments. Food condiments (tomato, crayfish, dika nut, melon and pepper) were purchased from three local markets (Ndoro, Ubani and Ahiaeke) and were each divided into two parts. One part of each condiment from a specific market was pulverized with plastic mortar and pestle while the other part was pulverized using manual grinding machine. In all, three different metallic grinders (Corona® brand) were used for the three condiment lots from the three markets. The samples (plastic mortar samples, PMS and metallic grinder samples, MGS) were digested with HNO3 and aqua regia and analyzed for metals (Fe, Zn, Cr and Ni) using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (FAAS). The results show enrichment of condiment samples with the metals as a result of the use of the metallic grinder for crushing them since metal concentrations were higher in all metallic grinder samples (MGS) compared to plastic mortar samples (PMS). Mean Fe concentrations in PMS for the three condiment lots were significantly lower (P<0.05) than mean Fe concentration in MGS indicating substantial Fe enrichment.
Keywords metals, grinder, mortar, condiment