Arsenic concentrations and speciation in Australian and imported rice and commercial rice products

William Maher, Elliott Duncan, Hayden Martin, Peter Snell, Frank Krikowa, Rajani Jagtap, Simon Foster, Tariq Ezaz, Michael J. Ellwood

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental context In countries where inhabitants are not exposed to arsenic-contaminated drinking water, food is the major source of potentially toxic inorganic arsenic. To complement the existing worldwide dataset on arsenic in rice, data are presented on Australian- and overseas-grown rice, and assessed in terms of possible risk. Only a diet comprising multiple serves of some rice products per day poses a potential risk to young children. Abstract Arsenic concentrations and speciation measurements were determined for six varieties of Australian-grown rice (n = 130), imported rice (n = 53) and rice products (n = 56) from supermarkets. Total As, inorganic As and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) concentrations in Australian rice ranged from 16 to 630 μg As kg -1 (mean ± s.d.: 220 ± 122 μg kg -1), 16 to 250 μg As kg -1 (92 ± 52 μg As kg -1) and <5 to 432 μg As kg -1 (125 ± 109 μg As kg -1), respectively. Total As, inorganic As and DMA concentrations in imported rice ranged between 31 and 376 μg As kg -1 (130 ± 98 μg kg -1), 17 and 198 μg As kg -1 (73 ± 40 μg As kg -1) and <5 and 327 μg As kg -1 (84 ± 92 μg As kg -1) respectively. Few samples exceeded the guidelines for inorganic As in polished rice. In rice products, total As, inorganic As and DMA concentrations ranged between 21 and 480 μg As kg -1 (160 ± 110 μg As kg -1), 20 and 255 μg As kg -1 (92 ± 78 μg As kg -1) and <5 and 340 μg As kg -1 (65 ± 69 μg As kg -1) respectively. Sixteen samples exceeded the 100 μg kg -1 maximum for inorganic As concentration in rice foods for infants and young children. Ingestion of multiple serves of some rice products poses a potential risk. Environmental chemistry gaps, on processes influencing As occurrence in rice, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-402
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


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