Assessment of mercury content in Panga (Pangasius hypophthalmus)

Chemosphere. 2018 Apr:196:53-57. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.12.137. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


Panga (Pangasius hypophthalmus), originating from Vietnam, is one of the most consumed fish because of its low cost, mild taste and presentation (fillets without skin and bones). Nevertheless, due to the high levels of contamination of the rivers where it lives, and to the fact that the panga is a predator, whereby it will accumulate a higher mercury concentration, the main objectives of the present study were to evaluate the toxic risk from mercury ingestion as a result of the consumption of this fish. A total of 80 frozen panga samples natural and marinade from different commercial establishments have been analyzed using cold vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry (CV-AAS). The results obtained show a wide range of mercury concentrations between 0.10 and 0.69 mg/kg, with an average value of 0.22 mg/kg. In addition, it has been found that the average mercury concentration in the marinated presentation (0.18 mg/kg) is higher than that obtained in the natural panga (0.16 mg/kg). However, no significant differences were found between commercial establishments or in the presentation formats, with the conclusion that they did not influence the mercury content in the samples. Assuming a weekly consumption of 350 g of panga, the contribution rate to Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) of mercury (4 μg/kg bw/week) is 32% and 27.5% for women and men, respectively. Based on the results obtained in this study, an exhaustive control of the mercury content in this type of fish is necessary. In addition, a consumption restriction to children will be established.

Keywords: CV-AAS; Mercury; Panga; Pangasius hypophthalmus; Toxicological evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catfishes / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fishes
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Food Contamination / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mercury / analysis
  • Mercury / metabolism*
  • Rivers
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Vietnam
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Mercury