HomeUIC Research Journalvol. 19 no. 1 (2013)

Heavy Metal and Microbial Contaminants in the Top Five Local and Imported Food Supplements in Davao City

Azeneth Josol-Jagape



Food supplement capsules are reasonably beneficial to humans. However, to eliminate misconception and misuse, the consumers must be informed of the risk of these products due to their heavy metal and microbial contents. Thus, the primary purpose of this study is to determine the heavy metal level and microbial load of the top five food supplement capsules in Davao City, both for the locally manufactured and imported products. The leading food supplement capsules which were identified through a survey of drug retail outlets were analyzed and evaluated for their conformance to Food and Drug Administration standards, Results showed that none of the leading food supplement capsules locally manufactured and imported conformed to the maximum level of lead (10 µg /g) and Cadmium (0.30 µg /g). Based on the analysis of the samples, lead (Pb) concentration ranges from 10.90-19.97 µg /g and 8.99-24.87 and mean values 13.90 and 13.13 µg /g for both locally manufactured and imported products. Similar findings were noted for the level of Cadmium (Cd) which ranges at concentrations of 2.21-3.20 and 2.00-4.08 µg /g with mean values of 2.82 and 2.71 µg /g for both locally manufactured and imported capsules. On the contrary, Mercury (Hg) level on the tested products were <0.05 µg /g indicating conformance to the standard. Furthermore, results for microbiological test noted that none of the five leading herbal capsules locally manufactured and imported have exceeded the limit set by FDA. Although the products generally meet the standard microbial quality, the alarming amount of heavy metal should be addressed.