Rice is a staple food eaten by more than 50% of the world's population and is a daily dietary constituent in most South East Asian countries where 70% of the rice export comes from and where there is a high level of arsenic contamination in groundwater used for irrigation. Research shows that rice can take up and store inorganic arsenic during cultivation, and rice is considered to be one of the major routes of exposure to inorganic arsenic, a class I carcinogen for humans. Here, we report the use of a screening method based on the Gutzeit methodology to detect inorganic arsenic (iAs) in rice within 1 h. After optimization, 30 rice commodities from the United Kingdom market were tested with the field method and were compared to the reference method (high-performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, HPLC-ICP-MS). In all but three rice samples, iAs compound can be determined. The results show no bias for iAs using the field method. Results obtained show quantification limits of about 50 μg kg(-1), a good reproducibility for a field method of ±12%, and only a few false positives and negatives (<10%) could only be recorded at the 2015 European Commission (EC) guideline for baby rice of 100 μg kg(-1), while none were recorded at the maximum level suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) and implemented by the EC for polished and white rice of 200 μg kg(-1). The method is reliable, fast, and inexpensive; hence, it is suggested to be used as a screening method in the field for preselection of rice which violates legislative guidelines.
The authors give thanks for the financial support from the Paul Instrument Fund PI100078 (The Royal Society). S.L. thanks the ERASMUS internship fund for the financial support. The authors thank the volunteers for the reproducibility test.
- Inorganic Arsenic
- Field Test Kit
- Arsenic contamination
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Jörg Feldmann (Participant), Andrew Alexander Meharg (Participant), Andrea Raab (Participant) & Eva Maria Krupp (Participant)