International Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Chiang-Mai, Thailand, 15 - 18 December 2011, vol.1023, pp.35-38
In the millennium age, people have realized that natural food and healthcare products are more useful for them than those of modern products rich in chemicals. Thus, consumption of herbal drugs and spices has started to increase rapidly in the last two decades all over the world. Related to this high demand and consumption of these products, some food safety defects due to presence of heavy metal residues in some products were fixed in some countries. In this concept, studies on determining heavy metal concentrations of these natural products and their derivatives have a great interest. Among these heavy metals, some of them were dangerous to human health, but some of them like selenium, in acceptable concentrations, were very important for good health and conservative properties of health problems such as cardiovascular diseases. Meanwhile, studies on investigating selenium contents of some food items are up to date in scientific area. In this study, selenium concentration in some spices and herbal drugs, commonly used in Turkey, was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (Varian, Cary 300 BIO, UV Visible). According to laboratory analysis, selenium concentrations of the analyzed plant samples varied between 9 and 889 mu g kg(-1). Among these samples, the highest selenium concentration was found in nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) and the lowest value was found in red pepper (Capsicum annuum) No. 13.