Heavy metals and mineral elements not included on the nutritional labels in table olives

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 22;56(20):9475-83. doi: 10.1021/jf801690k. Epub 2008 Sep 19.


The average contents, in mg/kg edible portion (e.p.), of elements not considered for nutritional labeling in Spanish table olives were as follows: aluminum, 71.1; boron, 4.41; barium, 2.77; cadmium, 0.04; cobalt, 0.12; chromium, 0.19; lithium, 6.56; nickel, 0.15; lead, 0.15; sulfur, 321; tin, 18.4; strontium, 9.71; and zirconium, 0.04. Sulfur was the most abundant element in table olives, followed by aluminum and tin (related to green olives). There were significant differences between elaboration styles, except for aluminum, tin, and sulfur. Ripe olives had significantly higher concentrations (mg/kg e.p.) of boron (5.32), barium (3.91), cadmium (0.065), cobalt (0.190), chromium (0.256), lithium (10.01), nickel (0.220), and strontium (10.21), but the levels of tin (25.55) and zirconium (0.039) were higher in green olives. The content of contaminants (cadmium, nickel, and tin) was always below the maximum limits legally established. The discriminant analysis led to an overall 86% correct classification of cases (80% after cross-validation).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Food Labeling*
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Trace Elements / analysis


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Trace Elements