inorganic arsenic speciation in riceIn my previous blog titled: Arsenic Speciation: The Media and the Science I promised updates on this hot topic and as a big plus for me personally, this review incorporates my passion for ion analysis. My previous discussion points highlighted the importance of measuring the inorganic arsenic species, commenting on upcoming regulations and the ongoing research at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queens University Belfast (QUB) and here I wanted to share the very latest analytical method on the subject published just last month.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Safefood Chemical Residues Knowledge Network Conference last December where renowned expert in the field, Professor Andy Meharg gave an excellent talk on the subject and he informed the audience of his research groups latest publication in the Journal of Food Chemistry titled: Inorganic arsenic in rice-based products for infants and young children – there is also a free to download pdf on the page too.

The comprehensive article is a great read and my attention (as always) was drawn to the analytical method. They hyphenate an ion chromatography instrument with their ICP-MS utilising a simple aqueous eluent and their configuration obtains an impressive LOD for inorganic arsenic of 0.003mg/Kg rice.

With further investigation I came across a wonderful poster by Covance titled: Analytical methods for the determination of various arsenic species in rice, rice food products, apple juice and other juices by IC-ICP-MS that was presented at an AOAC conference last summer. This novel method confirms the findings of the QUB article and the authors at Covance make two pertinent points and I quote, “the ability to provide outstanding chromatographic separation in half the time” and “the method avoids oxidation of As(+3) to As(+5) that have very different levels of toxicity”.

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These up-to-the-minute publications have further convinced me that hyphenating an ion chromatograph with an ICP-MS has real advantages over older methods that I have read about in the past.

Additional Resources

Do check out our Food and Beverage 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 arsenic or any other metal speciation of interest to your laboratory? If so I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences

Paul Dewsbury is a Global Marketing Manager for Food and Beverage in the Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Paul has over 20 years’ experience in analytical chemistry with a specialty in Ion Chromatography and its applications both as a customer through to Sales and Technical Support for Dionex UK and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Paul has a strong customer focus and now applies the experiences he has gained in helping our customers find solutions to their needs and challenges in the Food and Beverage sector. Paul received his BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Chemistry at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.