keywords: Cereal grains, organochlorine, organophosphate, nutritional composition, crude protein
This study investigated the nutritional composition and pesticide residue levels in cereal grains sold in Wukari market, Taraba State, Nigeria. Standard methods of AOAC were used for the nutrient analysis of the samples (wheat, sorghum, millet and maize). The organophosphate pesticide residue analysis was based on QuEchERs (Quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe) method. The analysis was carried out using HP 5890 Gas Chromatograph equipped with electron capture detector (ECD) using helium as the carrier gas. Organochlorine residues were analysed using Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph 2010 equipped with Nitrogen Phosphorus Detector (NPD), using nitrogen as carrier gas. The results showed that wheat had the highest moisture and ash contents of 9.19 and 2.92%, respectively; while the lowest ash value was obtained for maize. The following ranges were observed for the nutrient analysis carried out: crude fibre 2.38 (millet) to 5.18% (wheat), ether extract 2.19 (wheat) to 5.45% (millet); crude protein 9.87(maize) to 12.80% (wheat) and nitrogen free extract NFE 7.69(wheat) to 80.86% (maize). The results for the Organophosphate pesticide residues were below the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of European Council, for organochlorine it was observed that the following Organochlorine Residues; aldrin, heptachlor, lindane and Methoxychlor detected were slightly above Maximum Residue Limits. Therefore, control of organochlorine pesticide in cereal grain is necessary for food safety.