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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380670

Research Project: Conservation Systems to Improve Production Efficiency, Reduce Risk, and Promote Sustainability

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Multi-elemental analysis and health risk assessment of commercial yerba mate from Brazil

item ULBRICH, NAYARA - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item PRADO, LUCIANE - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item BARBOSA, JULIERME - Federal University Of Minas Gerais
item ARAUJO, ELOA - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item POGGERE, GIOVANA - Federal University Of Technology - Parana
item MOTTA, ANTONIO - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item MAGRI, EDERLAN - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item YOUNG, SCOTT - University Of Nottingham
item BROADLEY, MARTIN - University Of Nottingham

Submitted to: Biological Trace Element Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2021
Publication Date: 3/1/2022
Citation: Ulbrich, N.C., Prado, L.L., Barbosa, J.Z., Araujo, E.M., Poggere, G.C., Motta, A.C., Prior, S.A., Magri, E., Young, S.D., Broadley, M.R. 2022. Multi-elemental analysis and health risk assessment of commercial yerba mate from Brazil. Biological Trace Element Research. 200:1455-1463.

Interpretive Summary: Yerba mate leaves and thin branches (Ilex paraguariensis) are primarily used in a chimarrão (hot infusion) beverage and contain elements of interest for human health. Considering that legislation is based on total elemental concentrations found in dry products and that the main form of yerba mate consumption occurs by hot-water infusion, concentrations of both total (dry product) and hot-water soluble elements were determined for different commercial yerba mate products sold in southern Brazil. Yerba mate had high nutritional value and did not show potential risk for consumers. Values of elements in yerba mate had the following order of occurrence: K > Ca > Mg > Mn > P > S > Al > Fe > Ba > Zn > Sr > B > Rb > Cu > Ti > others. Manganese was in high concentration and had a high solubility percentage (53%), which reinforces that yerba mate has a great capacity to accumulate this element. Potentially toxic elements in infusions were below the maximum recommended values for ingestion, suggesting that consumption of yerba mate infusions is not harmful to health.

Technical Abstract: Consumption of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis – A. St. Hil.) occurs mostly in the form of hot infusion (“chimarrão”). Water solubility of elements found in commercialized yerba mate is needed to establish nutritional value and risks associated with potentially toxic elements. In this study, yerba mate products marketed in three southern Brazilian states (Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul) for chimarrão were analyzed. Total (dry product) and hot water-soluble concentrations of 25 elements (Al, As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cs, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, Rb, S, Se, Sr, Ti, V, and Zn) were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP–MS). Total concentrations of the ten top elements followed the order of: K>Ca>Mg>Mn>P>S>Al>Fe>Ba>Zn. The lowest water-soluble elements were V, Fe, and Ti (values <10%), followed by Ba, Cd, Al, As, Sr, Ca, and Pb with solubility between 10 and 20%. The most soluble elements were B, Cs, Ni, Rb, and K, with values greater than 80%. Although total Cd levels in yerba mate products were often above those permitted by marketing legislation, estimated daily consumption intake indicated no risk associated with the chimarrão beverage. Manganese was the micronutrient with the highest total and soluble levels in yerba mate, which surpassed recommended daily intake values. Further studies of this element in yerba mate is required, especially in terms of absorption by the human body.