Total and inorganic arsenic in marketed food and associated health risks for the Catalan (Spain) population

Mireia Fontcuberta, Josep Calderon, Joan R. Villalbí, Francesc Centrich, Samuel Portaña, Albert Espelt, Julia Duran, Manel Nebot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is considered to be a human carcinogen. In this paper, total (As) and iAs contents of 215 food products and drinks (i.e., seafood, fruits and vegetables, meat products, oils and fats, rice and rice products, seasonings, and alcoholic drinks) marketed in Catalonia (Spain) were quantified by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The analytical method described was used for different food products, obtaining feasible results without the need to couple LC-ICP-MS for iAs. Daily As and iAs intakes for the average adult Catalan consumer were estimated at 354 and 6.1 μg/day/person, respectively, using consumption data from the Catalan Nutrition Survey (ENCAT). The highest As content was found in seafood, contributing 96% of dietary As intake, whereas rice presented the highest iAs values, corresponding to 67% of dietary iAs intake. As cooking process may affect iAs content, boiled rice was evaluated, showing an iAs reduction (up to 86%) when using higher water volumes (30:1 water/rice ratio) than those used in previous studies. This iAs exposure was slightly below the exposure risk range stated by the European Food Safety Authority (0.3-8 μg/kg of body weight/day), although the possibility of a risk to the population with high rice consumption cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10013-10022
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 28 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • arsenic
  • cooked rice
  • dietary exposure
  • food safety
  • inorganic arsenic
  • risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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