Does the addition of ingredients affect mercury and cadmium bioaccessibility in seafood-based meals?

Isa Marmelo, Vera Barbosa, Ana Luísa Maulvault, Maria Paula Duarte, António Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the bioaccessibility of nutrients and contaminants present in individual seafood products has been thoroughly studied, information is extremely limited in what concerns complete seafood-based meals, where interactions between ingredients may occur. Hence, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of different ingredients and cooking processes in mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) bioaccessibility in complete meals of tuna (Thunnus spp.) and edible crab (Cancer pagurus), respectively. The addition of ingredients/side dishes decreased Hg levels in cooked tuna meals, but increased Hg bioaccessibility (up to 31% of bioaccessible Hg in complete meals, against 13.5% in stewed tuna alone). Cd levels in edible crab meals were significantly decreased by the addition of ingredients (~36% and ~65% decrease in boiled crab and paté, respectively), but its' bioaccessibility was not significantly affected (>94% in all cases). Results showed that the weekly consumption of 2 complete tuna meals does not exceed MeHg tolerable weekly intake (TWI), whereas Cd's TWI is largely surpassed with the consumption of 50 g/week of edible crab meals. This highlights the importance of determining contaminant levels and bioaccessibility in a whole seafood-based meal context, as such approach enables a more realistic assessment of the risks that seafood can pose to consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110978
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Bioaccessibility
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Risk assessment
  • Seafood
  • Whole meal


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