keywords: Beverages, blue-baby syndrome, carcinogenic, juice, Makurdi
The nitrite, nitrate and nitrosamine concentration in ten (10) wine brands, five (5) malt drinks and five (5) fruit juices commonly consumed in Makurdi, Benue state were analyzed using UV-Vis spectrophotometry, with the aim of determining them and comparing the concentration values with World Health Organisation (WHO) and NAFDAC standards. The results showed that wine brands consumed in Makurdi, Benue state contained between 0.80±0.01 to 2.52±0.13 mg/L nitrites, 7.41±0.14 to 13.05±0.07 mg/L nitrates and nitrosamines were not detected in any of the samples. Malt drinks contained concentrations of nitrites within close range (0.71±0.08 to 0.80±0.01 mg/L) and nitrates (9.65±0.14 to 10.35±0.14 mg/L) suggesting similarity of raw materials and methods of processing. Nitrosamines were not detected in any of the malt samples. Fruit juices contained the lowest levels of nitrites (0.57±0.07 to 0.80±0.01 mg/L), moderately high levels of nitrates (8.72±0.08 to 15.47±0.21 mg/L) particularly in juices containing apples or coconut. Nitrosamines were not detected in the fruit juice samples studied. All concentrations obtained were below the acceptable concentration levels stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) hence, the beverages under study were verified safe for consumption. The statistical tests performed showed significant difference in the nitrite and nitrate concentrations of wine brands and fruit juices but no statistical difference in the concentrations of nitrite and nitrate in the malt drinks. This was attributed to wider variations in methods of processing, choice/quantity of preservatives and nature of raw materials in the manufacture of wine and fruit juices, which is probably absent in malt drink making. The parameters under study require regular checks and monitoring hence, it was recommended by the researcher, that this and similar research work be periodically carried out by NAFDAC and also, as research work by other students of Analytical chemistry or Food Science and Technology.
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