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Arsenic in your food: potential health hazards from arsenic found in rice

Authors Munera-Picazo S, Cano-Lamadrid M, Castaño-Iglesias MC, Burló F, Carbonell-Barrachina

Received 1 October 2014

Accepted for publication 2 December 2014

Published 9 January 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 1—10


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Sandra Munera-Picazo,1 Marina Cano-Lamadrid,1 María Concepción Castaño-Iglesias,2 Francisco Burló,1 Ángel A Carbonell-Barrachina1

1Food Quality and Safety Group, Department of Agro-Food Technology, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Orihuela, 2Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario San Juan de Alicante, Alicante, Spain

Abstract: Rice is a staple food for over half of the world population, but there is some concern about the occurrence of arsenic (As) in this cereal and the possible overexposure to this metalloid. Recently, the Codex Alimentarius Commission established a maximum limit of 200 µg kg–1 for inorganic arsenic (iAs) in rice. Because the maximum content of As in water has been reduced to 10 µg L–1, intoxication through rice and rice-based products can be considered an important source of As poisoning. The chronic effects of this iAs exposure can be lung and bladder cancer, skin lesions, or other noncarcinogenic diseases. There is clear evidence of high levels of iAs in rice and rice-based products. Different solutions for the reduction of As intake are proposed at different levels: 1) during the plant-growing process through agronomic practices, 2) pretreatment of rice before its use in the food industry, 3) optimization of the conditions of unit operations during processing, and 4) by cooking.

Keywords: arsenic speciation, food safety, dietary exposure, Oryza sativa

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