Agriculture and Food Chemistry

Comparison and risk assessment of trace metal content in factory-farmed broiler and free-range chicken meat sold in Laguna, Philippines



Chicken meat consumption remains high in the Philippines, and consequently, annual chicken production has risen steadily over the years. Although most of the chicken meat available in the market are sourced from factory farms, there has been growing popularity of free-range chicken production, largely driven by its perceived health benefits and sanitation concerns in factory farms, among others. In this work, we aimed at comparing the trace metal (copper, iron, lead, manganese, and zinc) content of free-range and factory-farmed broiler chicken meat that are being sold in Laguna, Philippines. The samples were subjected to acid digestion and analysis was done using atomic absorption spectrometry. Results showed an average concentration between 0.17 – 0.24 mg/kg, 2.22 – 2.34 mg/kg, 0.12 – 0.15 mg/kg, 0.95 – 1.32 mg/kg, and 1.81 – 1.96 mg/kg for copper, iron, lead, manganese, and zinc, respectively. Statistical analysis using one-way ANOVA and Tukey multiple comparison test (p < 0.05) showed no significant differences in the trace metal content of free-range and factory-farmed chicken meats, suggesting that in terms of the levels of these trace metals, not much differentiates the two varieties. Analysis of the health hazards, reported as target hazard quotient (THQ) and hazardous index (HI), associated with the consumption of the said chicken breast meat indicated no potential health risks.


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