Interest in the forms of arsenic in food and beverage products containing rice has significantly increased recently due to the amount of information available to the public regarding the carcinogenicity and ubiquitous nature of certain arsenic molecules. Application of a single method for the preparation and analysis of samples for arsenic speciation to all types of consumptive products containing rice (e.g., baby food, cereals, crackers, pasta, drinks) will result in haphazard failures to produce accurate results. The composition of the food or beverage and its interaction with the different arsenic species will ultimately dictate method viability.
Most consumers have a limited education regarding all of the different products that contain rice and rice-based products, including rice bran, rice flour, rice syrup, and rice bran oil. These products are being used as sweeteners, thickeners, leavening agents, sugar sources for brewing, and fillers. Arsenic speciation analyses of rice and rice-based products are relatively straightforward for experienced laboratories; however, when integrated as ingredients in more complex foods (fats, complex carbohydrates, oils, food additives), the chemistry of the product as a whole must be taken into consideration. An excellent example is the level of protonation of arsenite, or As(III), when present in consumptive products with a high fat content. Since the fat is relatively insoluble and the protonated As(III) is stable in that substrate, it can reduce the efficacy of traditional extraction approaches for arsenic speciation analyses.
Brooks Applied Labs has developed an array of different preparatory and analytical methods to account for the vast variety of consumptive products we perform testing on. Our project managers and applied scientists have an excellent understanding of the limitations and benefits for each method we offer. If you want to manage your risk with results you can rely upon, please contact us to discuss your project. BAL is your partner for making vital product safety and supply chain decisions.