The bioavailability of arsenic species in rice


Rice is the principal food in many countries for billions of people and one of the most consumed cereals in the world. The rice plant has the ability to bioaccumulate essential and toxic trace elements such as arsenic. The toxicity of the elements depends not only on their concentration but also on their chemical form and their bioavailability. The inorganic forms of arsenic are more toxic than the organic forms and the toxicity increases with decreasing oxidation states. The consumers of rice in Europe who are the most exposed to inorganic arsenic are children under three, thorough diet (rice-based food). Recently, the European Commission established the maximum levels of inorganic arsenic in foodstuffs. This regulation establishes a maximum level of inorganic arsenic of 100 μg kg−1 in rice destined for the production of food for infants and young children. In order to know the relation between the As ingested and the arsenic absorbed, studies of bioavailability are necessary. We proposed an in vitro digestion method with dialysis to estimate this relation. Furthermore, a bioavailability study of As species in rice was performed in order to know if a change in As species occurred during the gastrointestinal digestion process. Arsenic species were determined in rice and in the dialysate fraction by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS). The proposed method has been applied to different rice samples acquired in the local Spanish market.

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This program received financial support from Xunta de Galicia (Grupo de Referencia Competitiva ED431C2018/19). This program is co-funded by FEDER (UE).

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Correspondence to Pilar Bermejo-Barrera.

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Domínguez-González, M.R., Barciela-Alonso, M., Calvo-Millán, V.G. et al. The bioavailability of arsenic species in rice. Anal Bioanal Chem 412, 3253–3259 (2020).

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  • Bioavailability
  • Dialyzability
  • Arsenic
  • Rice
  • Speciation