Microbiological and Heavy Metal Risk in Alfalfa Juice (Medicago Sativa), Sold in Markets

Elena Del Rocio Coyago Cruz, Gabriela Ines Mendez Silva, Ramiro Daniel Acurio Vasconez, Luis Alberto Valdés Silverio, Karina Marisol Quishpe Puga, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Guzman, Elena Del Rosario Beltrán Sinchiguano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of this study was evaluated the possible health risks associated with the content of heavy metal and microorganisms in the alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) juice. Thirteen samples from 33 different markets of Quito-Ecuador were purchased f and analyzed the commercial quality (soluble solids pH, titulable acidity, relative density and humidity), heavy metal (lead, cadmium, copper, chromium and nickel) and microorganism (Aerobic mesophiles and parasites). The results showed that the concentration of lead ranged between 1.40 to 2.49 ppm. These exceeded the maximum limits allowed by CODEX. In addition, in most cases cadmium (0.07 ppm) and copper (0.47 ppm) did not exceed the allowable limits, while chromium (traces) and nickel (0.52 ppm) did not have regulations for their respective comparison. On the other hand, the microbial quality of most of the samples of alfalfa juice showed contamination with mesophilic aerobic microorganism (3.50E+03 UFC/g) and parasites (positive). These finding provide valuable information that can funding food safety decisions, and confirm that the vast majority of vegetables available on Quito’s markets present a problem in terms of bacteriological hazards and heavy metal.
Translated title of the contributionRiesgo microbiológico y de metales pesados ​​en jugo de alfalfa (Medicago Sativa), vendido en mercados
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalItalian Journal of Food Science
Issue number2019
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Alfalfa juice
  • Market
  • Microbiological analysis

CACES Knowledge Areas

  • 215A Biochemistry


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