Nitrite content of wheat samples from different regions of Turkey


Fabad Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol.32, no.2, pp.51-57, 2007 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Journal Name: Fabad Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.51-57
  • Keywords: Food toxicity, Nitrite, Turkey, Wheat
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: No


Wheat is a staple food in many countries, including Turkey, which is one of the major wheat-producing countries in the world. The average daily consumption of wheat and wheat products by the Turkish population is about twice that of Western countries. The main source of exogenous human exposure to nitrite is food, including vegetables, drinking water, cured meat, and cereal products. Several studies indicate an association between dietary intake of nitrite and the occurrence of many cancers. Although there are several studies on the nitrite levels of the different foodstuffs, the studies based on the nitrite content of cereal and cereal products are limited. The present study aimed to compare the nitrite content of wheat samples grown and consumed in different regions of Turkey. Forty samples of wheat were collected from the Turkish Grain Board Office, and nitrite concentrations were determined by a spectrophotometric method. The mean nitrite levels of wheat (mean ± SEM) were found to be 6.37 ± 0.38 mg/kg for the East Anatolia region (n=10), 8.31 ± 1.38 mg/kg for the Central Anatolia region (n=23), and 7.14 ± 3.54 mg/kg for the West Anatolia regions (Marmara/Aegean) (n=7). The differences between the groups were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Estimated daily intake levels are below the given acceptable daily intake (ADI) by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). However, overall consumption of nitrite by the organism in one day with other foods must also be considered. It can be concluded that the nitrite levels in different cereals, vegetables and fruits should be monitored routinely to prevent food-borne hazards and to protect susceptible populations such as infants, young children and the elderly.