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Thermal Processing to Mitigate Arsenic Content in North American White Rice: Nutrient, Total and Speciated Arsenic Evaluation

Food Science and Nutrition Project
Pengyi Zhao
Graduate Student Seminar Days
Spring 2014

The study objective evaluated preparation methods on the concentration of total arsenic and arsenic species in rice (polished white and brown long-grain rice) as well as target essential nutrients (folic acid) added from fortification. Rice was cooked according to direction with added variables to the process which included, rinsing in different volumes of water (1x and 3x) and cooking in excess water (6:1 water to rice). The analysis was based on the FDA Elemental Analysis Manual (EAM 4.11) for arsenic content. The total arsenic (As) was measured by an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) after microwave-assisted digestion. Due to the different toxicities of the chemical forms of arsenic, the ICP-MS coupled to a high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) was used to perform As speciation (As (Ⅲ), DMA, MMA, As (Ⅴ)). The major detected organoarsenical species was dimethylarsinic acid (DMA). Monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) was not detected, or only trace levels were found. Results for speciated and total As in the National Institute of Standards and Technology standard reference material rice flour (NIST SRM 1568b) were in good agreement with certified values. Raw rice of 4 lots ranged from 130 - 220 ppb total arsenic with inorganic arsenic (iAs) ranging from 80 – 130 ppb. Mitigation steps related to washing reduced arsenic levels 4-12%. In addition, HPLC methods were used to measure vitamin content related to fortified rice that contained folic acid, thiamin, and niacin. Cooked rice samples retained the fortified rice while washed rice lost greater than 95% of the fortified vitamin content. Study data on arsenic and essential nutrients levels in prepared rice samples will be presented.

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