Determination of inorganic arsenic in seafood: emphasizing the need for certified reference materials

Asta Heidrun Petursdottir, Helga Gunnlaudsdottir, Hronn Jorundsdottir, Andrea Raab, Eva M. Krupp, Joerg Feldmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the accuracy and robustness of an extraction method, utilizing an alkaline-ethanolic solution and microwave heating, the certified reference material (CRM) TORT-2 was subjected to three different instrumental methodologies: high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), coupled with and without post-column hydride generation; inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS); and HPLC-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HPLC-HG-AFS). The three methods gave a consistent value of inorganic arsenic (As) which is near the mean value of the reported values in the literature, which, however, range by a factor of 10. Inorganic As, defined here as all As species that do not have an As-C bond, that is, the sum of arsenite and arsenate and any thiol-bound As, was found to be less than 4 % of total As concentration in 12 samples of fish meal when subjected to this extraction method followed by HPLC-ICP-MS. To date, there is no certified value of inorganic As in a seafood-based reference material to compare to in order to validate the findings. This illustrates the difficulties in quantitative determination of inorganic As in seafood and the need for a reference material for inorganic As and proficiency tests in order to introduce legislation for a maximum level of inorganic As in seafood and feed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-202
Number of pages12
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • analytical chemistry
  • arsenic
  • food chemistry
  • speciation
  • plasma-mass spectrometry
  • microwave-assisted extraction
  • animal-tissues
  • fish
  • water
  • argenosugars
  • shellfish
  • products


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