The scales are tipping in favor of the consumer with the announcement of a new legislation in Europe on the issue of arsenic in rice.
On June 25 2015, Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1006 (link to regulation document) amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 set the maximum inorganic arsenic detection limits for rice and rice products to the following limits.
Type of Rice
Rice intended for baby food
Polished white rice
Husked rice and parboiled rice
Rice cakes and other rice products
For trace elemental analysis of toxic metals in food, this is welcome news as it clearly differentiates the foodstuffs and recognizes the impact and potential intake of infants.
Arsenic, being one of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) top ten chemicals of public health concern (link to site) will always cause alarm when mentioned alongside anything food related, but it is the ability to separate and measure the different arsenic species which is of key interest to analytical chemists, as it is the inorganic form which is toxic.
But, if you want your arsenic straight up, I found this wonderful website giving Arsenic FAQ (link to page) in simple to understand terminology. It all appears factually correct and I especially love the answer to “what does ppb mean?” as I have given similar answers to my friends in the past.
Do check out our Food Community which is a wonderful resource that is totally dedicated to our Food and Beverage customers and features the latest on-demand webinars, videos, application notes, and more.
Is trace metal analysis and/or arsenic speciation of interest to your laboratory? If so I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences.