• Yi-Jie Dai
  • Abdullah F. Alsayeqh Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Qassim University, Buraidah 51452, Qassim, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Eman Wagih E. E. Ali
  • Ahmed S. Abdelaziz
  • Hesham A. Khalifa
  • Asmaa S. M. Mohamed
  • Mohamed E. Alnakip




heavy metals, trace elements, cheese, health risk assessment, dietary intakes


Cheese represents an important source of essential amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements such as copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn). Cheese can be contaminated with toxic heavy metals due to the use of contaminated ingredients, or during the manufacture process, and distribution. This study was taken to estimate the residual contents of some toxic metals including lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg), and trace elements such as zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) in five of the most consumed cheese types in Egypt including Domiati, Feta, Karish, Mish, and Rumi. Moreover, calculation of the dietary intakes, and health risk assessment among children and adults were conducted. The obtained results revealed that Mish cheese had the highest residual content of Pb, and As. Karish cheese had the highest content of Cd, and Zn. Mercury was not detected in Feta and Domiati cheese. Calculation of the estimated daily intakes, hazard ratio, and hazard index revealed that consumption of cheese among Egyptian adults and children would not pose health risks. However, such data should be handled carefully as consumption of cheese will provide considerable concentrations of the total buildup of heavy metals to the Egyptian consumers. In addition, consumption of cheese will provide part of the human needs of the essential trace elements including Zn, and Cu.


● 1. Gerosa S, Skoet T. Milk availability: current production and demand and medium-term outlook. Milk and dairy products in human nutrition. FAO, Rome, Italy. 2013; 11–40.

● 2. Ma JK, Raslan AA, Elbadry S, El-Ghareeb WR, Mulla ZS, Bin-Jumah M, Abdel-Daim MM, Darwish WS. Levels of biogenic amines in cheese: correlation to microbial status, dietary intakes, and their health risk assessment. Environ Sci Pollu Res 2020; 27(35): 44452–9.

● 3. Darwish WS, Morshdy A, Ikenaka Y, et al. Expression and sequence of CYP1A1 in camel. J Vet Med Sci 2010; 72: 221–4.

● 4. Thompson LA, Darwish WS. Environmental Chemical Contaminants in Food: Review of a Global Problem. J Toxicol 2019; 2345283.

● 5. Christophoridis C, Kosma A, Evgenakis E, et al. Determination of heavy metals and health risk assessment of cheese products consumed in Greece. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2019; 82:103238.

● 6. Elhelaly AE, Elbadry S, Eltanani GS, Saad, et al. Residual contents of the toxic metals (lead and cadmium), and the trace elements (copper and zinc) in the bovine meat and dairy products: residues, dietary intakes, and their health risk assessment. Toxin Rev 2022; 41(3):968–75.

● 7. Darwish WS, Ikenaka Y, Nakayama SM, et al. Constitutive effects of Lead on aryl hydrocarbon receptor gene battery and protection by β‐carotene and ascorbic acid in human HepG2 cells. J Food Sci 2016; 81(1): T275–81.

● 8. Yabe J, Nakayama SM, Ikenaka Y, et al. Lead poisoning in children from townships in the vicinity of a lead–zinc mine in Kabwe, Zambia. Chemosphere. 2015; 119: 941–7.

● 9. Szkup-Jablonska M, Karakiewicz B, Grochans E, et al. Effects of blood lead and cadmium levels on the functioning of children with behavior disorders in the family environment. Ann Agri Environ Med 2012; 19(2).

● 10. Nishijo M, Nambunmee K, Suvagandha D, et al. Gender-specific impact of cadmium exposure on bone metabolism in older people living in a cadmium-polluted area in Thailand. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017; 14(4): 401.

● 11. Darwish WS, Chiba H, Elhelaly AE, et al. Estimation of cadmium content in Egyptian foodstuffs: health risk assessment, biological responses of human HepG2 cells to food-relevant concentrations of cadmium, and protection trials using rosmarinic and ascorbic acids. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019; 26(15): 15443–57.

● 12. Ozuah PO. Mercury poisoning. Current Problems Ped 2000; 30(3): 91–9.

● 13. Lin HJ, Sung TI, Chen CY, et al. Arsenic levels in drinking water and mortality of liver cancer in Taiwan. J Hazar Mat 2013; 262: 1132–8.

● 14. Pogorzelska-Nowicka E, Atanasov AG, Horbańczuk J, et al. Bioactive Compounds in Functional Meat Products. Molecules 2018; 23(2): 307.

● 15. Darwish WS, Ikenaka Y, Nakayama S, et al. The effect of copper on the mRNA expression profile of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in cultured rat H4-II-E cells. Biol Trace Elem Res 2014; 158(2): 243–8.

● 16. El-Ghareeb WR, Darwish WS, Meligy AMA. 2019. Metal contents in the edible tissues of camel and sheep: Human dietary intake and risk assessment in Saudi Arabia. Jpn J Vet Res 2019; 67(1): 5–14

● 17. United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Cadmium (CASRN-7440-43-9) 2010. http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0141.htm

● 18. Statista Research Department (SRD). Global per capita consumption of cheese 2016, by country. 2019. https://www.statista.com/statistics/527195/consumption-of-cheese-per-capita-worldwide-country/,Last accessed on August 13th, 2022.

● 19. European Commission (EC). Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. 2006. Access link http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2006R1881:20100701:EN:pdf.

● 20. Ibrahim J. Residues of Toxic Heavy Metals in Different Types of Egyptian Cheese. Egypt J Food Saf. 2013;1(1): 42–8.

● 21. Tona GO, Adetunji VO, Ameen SA, et al. Evaluation of lead and cadmium heavy metal residues in milk and milk products sold in Ogbomoso, Southwestern Nigeria. Pak J Nutr 2013; 12(2): 168.

● 22. Rezaei M, Dastjerdi HA, Jafari H, et al. Assessment of dairy products consumed on the Arakmarket as determined by heavy metal residues. Health. 2014; 2014.

● 23. Castro-González NP, Calderón-Sánchez F, Castro de Jesús J, et al. Heavy metals in cow's milk and cheese produced in areas irrigated with waste water in Puebla, Mexico. Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill 2018; 11(1): 33–6.

● 24. Sujka M, Pankiewicz U, Kowalski R, et al. Determination of the content of Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn in dairy products from various regions of Poland. Open Chem 2019; 17(1): 694–702.

● 25. Hu Y, Zhang W, Chen G, et al. Public health risk of trace metals in fresh chicken meat products on the food markets of a major production region in southern China. Environ Pollut 2017; 234: 667–76.

● 26. Meshref AM, Moselhy WA, Hassan NE. Heavy metals and trace elements levels in milk and milk products. J Food Measur Char 2014; 8(4): 381–8.

● 27. Bortey-Sam N, Nakayama SM, Ikenaka Y, et al. Human health risks from metals and metalloid via consumption of food animals near gold mines in Tarkwa, Ghana: estimation of the daily intakes and target hazard quotients (THQs). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2015; 111: 160–7.

● 28. Darwish WS, Hussein MA, El-Desoky KI, et al. Incidence and public health risk assessment of toxic metal residues (cadmium and lead) in Egyptian cattle and sheep meats. Int Food Res J 2015; 22(4):1719–26.



How to Cite

Yi-Jie Dai, Abdullah F. Alsayeqh, Eman Wagih E. E. Ali, Ahmed S. Abdelaziz, Hesham A. Khalifa, Asmaa S. M. Mohamed, & Mohamed E. Alnakip. (2023). HEAVY METALS CONTENT IN CHEESE: A STUDY OF THEIR DIETARY INTAKE AND HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT. SLOVENIAN VETERINARY RESEARCH, 60(25-Suppl). https://doi.org/10.26873/SVR-1639-2022



Veterinary Medicine and The One Health Concept