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Quality of Vegetables in Central Europe Region

Author(s): Veronika Rezacova, Nikola Jancova

The quality of vegetables can be assessed by numbers of viewpoints. One of them is the monitoring of the content of hazardous substances included nitrates. High nitrate levels cause methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome; a condition found especially including in infants under six months. Most of the nitrates we consume are from either raw or cooked vegetables. Healthy adults may consume fairly large amount of nitrates with few known negative health effects. However, a long-term intake of high amount of nitrates may result into various gastric problems because of the rapid reduction of nitrates to nitrites. Subsequently, the nitrites react with further secondary amines in the stomach which leads to a production of carcinogenic nitrosamines. This work deals with determination of nitrates in vegetables by capillary isotachophoresis. Samples of organic-labeled (“bio”) vegetables as well as undistinguished vegetables were purchased in supermarkets and in farmer markets in Brno, Czech Republic. The amount of nitrates contained in the samples differed widely. The lowest content of nitrates was found bellow the limit of quantification. On the other hand only one of the samples exceeded the maximum amount of nitrates allowed by European Union legislation.

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