Heavy Metal and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contents of Cattle Hides Processed by Singeing with Tyre in Aba Abatoir
Woko, E. C.
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Processed cattle hide popularly known as “Kanda” in southeastern Nigeria is widely eaten as a substitute for meat but the commercial method of processing this food delicacy through singeing with scrap tyre has become a source of concern due to possible heavy metal contamination. This study therefore investigated the heavy metal and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) content of cattle hides singed with scrap tyre and firewood. It also evaluated the proximate content of the singed hides and the effect of consuming these cattle hides on vital organs of albino rats. Singeing significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the moisture, ash, fibre and carbohydrate contents of the hide while it increased the protein content; increased (p < 0.05) the iron (Fe) concentration of the hide though the concentration of iron detected was far below the average lethal dose allowed in meat and meat products and elevated (p < 0.05) the PAH concentration of the hides. However, the hides singed with firewood showed higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene. With the exception of naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, acenenaphthalene and indeno [1,2,3-cd] pyrene all the 16 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) priority PAHs evaluated showed a concentration above 0.0001 ppm (0.1 µg/kg) in at least one of the singed samples. Consuming singed cattle hides significantly elevated some serum marker enzymes important in kidney, liver and heart damage i.e alanine and aspartate aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase, and also low and high density lipoproteins, total cholesterol and HCO3- with the groups that were fed with the hide singed with scrap tyre showing severe elevations. Consuming the singed Kanda also significantly decreased the serum concentrations of K+, Na+, Cl- and triglyceride. In conclusion, consuming singed Kanda had detrimental effects on the vital organs studied.