Background and Objective: Coffee is one of the common drinks in Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia due to its desirable aroma, taste and putative positive physiological functions. The concentration of metals is commonly present in coffee powder. The presence of heavy metal concentration in different brands of coffee powder available in Saudi Arabia market has been analyzed.
Methods: Thirteen different coffee brands were selected in different markets, all assessment was carried out in advanced instruments such as Inductively Coupled Plasma and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. There are 14 metals which divide into seven non toxic and seven toxic metals were analyzed. Non toxic metals are calcium (Ca), iron (Fe),magnesium (Mg), Magnese (Mn), Potassium (K), phosphorus (P), sodium (Na), and toxic metals are arsenic (Ar), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), antimony and cadmium (Cd).
Results: The mean and standard deviation of non-toxic and toxic metals concentration in different samples of coffee were as follows: Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, P and Na were 24.87±6.76, 6.670±4.88, 235.98±100.05, 407.02±22.56, 8.63±10.14, 0.01±0.01, 333.86±247.35 respectively. Toxic metals concentration were as Al, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Si, Zn were 11.04±10.03, 0.80 ±2.52, 2.43±3.02, 0.07±0.11, 7.57±9.26, 23.48±27.32 and 1.853±1.66 respectively. These concentration values were high compared to threshold limit values (TLVs) of metals.
Conclusion: It was concluded from the study that coffee powder had high concentration of heavy toxic metals which is the major public health problem. Thus, quality control for food safety recommended during production of coffee.