Heavy Metals’ Uptake from Soil in Potato Tubers: an Ionomic Approach

Edward Muntean, Nicoleta Muntean, Marcel Duda, Rajmund Michalski


Genetically determined, plant ionome has a major impact on the quality of plant-origin raw materials for food,
feed or pharmaceutical final products. Since plants take up of the mineral nutrients they require from the soil, the ionomic
profile of plants grown in a certain environment will reflect adaptations to that, while the composition of food products
obtained from raw materials of plant origin will reflect that ionomic profile. Environmental contamination with heavy
metals has lead in recent years to an increase of the consumers’ interest on the quality of food products, being well known
that each heavy element is hazardous outside a certain range of concentrations. In this context, the major objective of the
present research was to establish the degree of contamination with lead, cadmium, zinc and copper for potato tubers
(Roclas cultivar). Experimental cultures were established for three consecutive years in three locations: one with historical
pollution with heavy metals caused by SC Sometra SA Copşa Mica, located in Seica Mare, another one contaminated
from diffuse sources located in Cluj-Napoca and a reference, unpolluted experimental field of USAMV Cluj-Napoca
close to the Jucu village. The targeted heavy metals were determined using a Shimadzu AA-6300 double beam
between 2.80 mg/kg (Jucu) and 4.25 mg/kg (Şeica Mare) while copper concentrations were between 0.52 mg/kg (Jucu)
and 2.10 mg/kg (Cluj Napoca). These values revealed a low contamination of potato tubers with heavy metals, all of them
being under the maximum allowed limits established by The European Commission Regulation nr.1881/2006.


cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, heavy metals, potato.

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