Changes in the concentrations of selected toxic and essential elements in ewe milk from area with a potentially undisturbed environment


  • Martina Pšenková Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Veterinary Disciplines, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovak Republic
  • Róbert Toman Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Veterinary Disciplines, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. Slovak Republic
  • Ivan Imrich Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Veterinary Disciplines, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. Slovak Republic
  • Svätoslav Hluchý Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Veterinary Disciplines, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. Slovak Republic



essential elements, toxic elements, sheep, milk, environmental burdes


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of lactation on the concentration of selected essential and toxic elements in sheep milk forma area of Slovakia with potentially undisturbed environment and to find the actual contamination of selected area, in view of its environmental character. The research was conducted with 400 sheep (Tsigai breed), where the milk samples were taken during the lactation periods (early, middle and late lactation stage). Sheep were reared on the extensive pastures, reared indoors afterwards, fed with pasture ad libidum. Milk samples were collected after morning and afternoon milking. The samples of milk were analysed toxic and essential elements (Ca, Se, Mg, Zn, Fe, Cu, As, Cd, Hg, Ni, Pb) by the method of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The macro elements concentration in milk changes following the stages of lactation (p < 0.05). There was found that Ca milk concentration increased gradually in the following stages of lactation while Mg, Se, and Fe only in the last stage of lactation. With order hand, the milk concentration of Zn was the highest during summer (p < 0.05). Simultaneously the contents of essential elements (Cu) and toxic elements (As, Cd, Hg, Ni, Pb) in milk were very low, below the limit of quantification. In conclusion, ewe’s milk from potentially undisturbed environmental areas of Slovakia is safe and poses no risk to consumer health, and is suitable for use directly or in dairy processing.


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How to Cite

Pšenková, M., Toman, R., Imrich, I., & Hluchý, S. (2021). Changes in the concentrations of selected toxic and essential elements in ewe milk from area with a potentially undisturbed environment. Science, Technology and Innovation, 13(2), 28–34.



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