ABSTRACT

Plant-based beverages have been positioned as an alternative to cow's milk. Some of the most commonly consumed plant-based beverages are those made from soybeans. Soybean beverages can be an important source of essential elements. However, soybean plants can be exposed to high concentrations of contaminants, such as toxic metals, from the soil and the environment. The objective of this study was to determine the concentrations of potentially toxic elements (PTEs; Fe, Cu, Cr, Co, Mn, Mo, Zn, B, Ba, Ni, Li, Sr, V, Al, Cd, and Pb) to evaluate the human exposure and toxic risk from the consumption of these soybean beverages. Forty samples of various brands of soybean beverages were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectroscopy. The most abundant PTE was Al (3.93 mg/L), followed by Fe (1.91 mg/L) and Ba (0.69 mg/L). Based on a mean consumption of two servings of soybean beverage per day (250 mL per serving), this consumption results in a daily intake of Al and Pb that is significant but still below of the maximum recommended amount. However, higher consumption could exceed the maximum recommended Al and Pb values, with consequent risks to the human health.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Concentrations of PTEs in soybean beverages were determined.

  • Al (3.93 mg/L) was the most notable PTE found in soybean beverages.

  • Estimated consumption of two servings per day resulted in significant Al, Mo, and Ni intake.

  • Higher soybean beverage consumption could pose a risk for consumer health.

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