The meat of snails can be considered a high-quality food for the human diet and demand is already increasing across Europe. Due to the bioaccumulation of trace elements in their tissues, land snails can be a significant tool also for environmental pollution evaluation. In this study, 28 mineral elements (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Li, Na, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sr, Ti, Tl, V, Zn) in both the edible part and the shell of edible land snails commercially available in Southern Italy belonging to Cernuella virgata, Helix aperta, Theba pisana species were investigated by ICP-MS and direct mercury analyser. The concentration of trace elements was variable among the samples. The variability demonstrates the close connection among the type of snail, the geographical origin, and the habitat in which the species grows. The edible part of the snails analysed in this study was found to be a good source of macro-nutrients. Toxic elements were detected in some samples, especially in shells; nevertheless, the values fell within the safety limits. Further investigations and monitoring of mineral contents in edible land snails are suggested both for human health and environmental pollution evaluation.
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