Pollutants: Sushi leaves can damage the health
Fresh fish, vegetables and rice: Sushi is considered healthy Fast Food. However, the algae leaves, the other ingredients are wrapped, are often loaded with unhealthy pollutants such as lead and arsenic. In addition, the iodine content is often too high.
Edible algae are widely used especially in Asian cuisine far. In this country you are first and foremost, as a component of Sushi known. Algae provide a number of nutrients and often contain large amounts of Iodine. The trace element is essential for life, but it can be in high doses is harmful. In addition, the algae leaves are often contaminated with pollutants.
Algae sheets for food and food supplements
As the Federal office for consumer write protection and food safety (BVL) in a recent communication, are used in dried seaweed leaves in salads, soups and vegetable dishes or as an ingredient in food supplements.
Here-leaved sea large algae such as kelp to use. Well-known varieties, for example, the brown algae Wakame and Kombu as well as the red algae Nori, whose leaves are used for wrapping of Sushi.
Some of the marine algae tend to be, according to the experts, however, pollutants such as heavy metals or other contaminants from the environment, and enrich.
For this reason, the food surveillance authorities of the länder, dried algae sheets, examined in 2013 in the framework of the nationwide Monitoring programme. Five years later, this program was repeated.
Pollutants in high concentrations
In the year 2018, the 165 samples dried sea algae have been on a number of chemical elements investigated. The BVL according to Cadmium, lead, arsenic and aluminum were especially in high concentrations.
For the heavy metal Cadmium, a legal maximum level of 3.0 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) currently exists in dried seaweed for use in food supplements. In every tenth sample tested marine algae, this value has been exceeded, however.
As in 2013, comparatively high levels of lead were determined levels. In about ten percent of the samples with the highest lead they were kept in the range of one to ten mg/kg.
So far, no maximum permissible maximum level for lead in the sea was established algae. The introduction of such a statutory maximum salary is planned according to the BVL, and is the subject of current discussions on the protection of consumers ‘ health.
High average arsenic levels
The results of the investigation to arsenic also confirmed Substantially the findings of the previous Monitoring program.
The studied algae samples have high average arsenic levels of about 25 mg/kg, but almost exclusively in the organically bound Form, which has not been studied with regard to their health risk to a satisfactory level.
According to the Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR), in particular, considered that the inorganic arsenic compounds as a health problem.
In 42 percent of the samples was also detected inorganic arsenic, however, the findings here are with 0.1 mg/kg is only slightly above the laboratory analytical detection limit and therefore at a very low level.
Analysis of the uranium
Further, it was found that the average aluminum concentrations in the studied algae sheets with about 100 mg/kg at a similar level as five years previously.
According to an exposure assessment of the BfR for Aluminium tolerable weekly oral intake of 1 mg/kg of body weight is exhausted through the consumption of algae, however, only a very small proportion of a maximum of 0.15 percent.
Due to the anticipated low amount of consumption is, according to current knowledge, not of a health risk to be assumed.
In the case of the 2018 for the first time in algae analyses carried out on uranium in high concentrations were, however, also here the absorption is, according to the BfR rate of the tolerable daily intake of 0.6 µg/kg body weight, only a maximum of 0.19 percent. Thus, in terms of the measured uranium findings do not expect a health risk.
Too much Iodine can be harmful to health
In addition to the potentially toxic chemical elements and the trace elements Iodine, zinc, selenium, manganese, and copper were examined, whose inclusion in small quantities for the maintenance of human health is necessary.
Excessive intake of these elements can also have negative health effects.
Iodine is for the construction of thyroid hormones is essential, but a Jodüberschuss can lead to a jodinduzierten About – as well as in the case of durable consumption to a sub-function of the thyroid gland.
As the maximum intake will be recommended by the BfR for Germany, 0.5 mg of Iodine per day. In a Toxicological risk assessment, the BfR points out that Iodine is absorbed in a dangerous Excess, if seaweed products are consumed with a iodine content of about 20 mg/kg.
The reported health are for products with an iodine content above the maximum tolerable limit of 20 mg/kg, for reasons of preventive protection warnings that excessive intake of Iodine can lead to disturbances in the thyroid function, as well as information on the iodine content and to the maximum consumption amount is required.
In the case of the 2018 carried out the Monitoring in around three-quarters of all the algae samples iodine content of 20 mg/kg were measured. Eight percent of these samples, no warnings or consumer information were available, however.
Because such products are likely to harm the health, it may not be in accordance with the General provisions of food law are not placed on the market.
A health risk of Iodine-avoid Oversupply, it is recommended according to the BVL, to buy only those seaweed products, the unique information on the iodine content and to the maximum consumption amount.
Although the trace elements zinc, copper, selenium and manganese were detected in relatively high amounts. In these but is not to be assumed, taking into account the maximum tolerable daily intake values of a health risk. (ad)