Spectrometers detect toxic trace metals in rice products

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Thermo fisher scientific Rice

Highly accurate trace metal detection in rice products is possible thanks to Thermo Fisher Scientific’s iCE 3000 Series range of atomic absorption (AA) spectrometers, claims the company.

This range of AA instruments allows quick and easy optimization for precise flame and furnace analyses of nutritional and toxic elements in rice products at parts per million and parts per billion levels, said a statement from Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Targeted toxic elements include copper, zinc and manganese which are natural constituents in soils and water.

Cadmium and lead

Also included in the research were cadmium and lead which are toxic elements with no nutritional benefit.

Rice is the world’s second-most common cereal crop making trace element analysis a vital safeguard for consumer health. “Trace elemental analysis of rice and related products is important on a nutritional and toxicological level, and the analysis of heavy metals is of particular importance to human health​,” said the company.

International regulations regulate the permissible levels of cadmium in foodstuffs. For example, both China and the EU set an upper limit of 0.2 mg/kg of cadmium in rice. The company says its iCE 3000 Series is the ideal tool for accurate and rapid determination of multiple trace elements in rice and rice products.

The company’s application note, outlining trace metal detection is entitled “Food Safety Series - Determination of Trace Elements in Rice Products by Flame and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry,” and is available at www.thermo.com/ice​.

World rice harvest

Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organisation predicted earlier this year that the 2008 season would result in a bumper rice harvest.

Global paddy production in the 2008 season was estimated at 683m tonnes, 3.5 percent more than in 2007 and the fastest rate of growth for three years.

Rice is the staple food for about 2.5bn people, confirmed FAO.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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