Concentrations of As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, and Zn in uruguayan rice determined by atomic absorption spectrometry

  • Mario E. Rivero Huguet Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay
  • Raquel Huertas Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay
  • Lorena Francini Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay
  • Liliana Vila Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay
  • Elena Darre Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay


The United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2004 the International Year of Rice and the concept "Rice is life". The largest nutritional problems occurring globally are protein-energy malnutrition, and Ca, Fe, I, Zn, and vitamin A deficiency. In this report, 49 rice samples (Oryza sativa L.) were digested by dry ashing in order to determine As, Cd, Cr, and Pb by ETA-AAS; while Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mo, Mn, Na, Ni, and Zn were determined by FAAS; and Hg by CV-AAS using microwave-assisted decomposition. The following concentration ranges were obtained for Ca (9.1-15 mg/100 g), Cd (2.30-4.12 µg/kg), Co (41-60 µg/kg), Cu (1.33-180 mg/kg), Fe (4.41-7.15 mg/kg), K (167-217 mg/100 g), Mg (45-121 mg/100 g), Mo (0.52-0.97 mg/kg), Mn (5.45-25.4 mg/kg), Na (0.95-2.50 mg/100g), Ni (0.53-0.72 mg/kg), and Zn (5.86-12.6 mg/kg). Mean recoveries of elements from fortified rice were: 87±12% for As, 95.3±8.9% for Ca, 106.2±7.7% for Cd, 103.3±6.5% for Co, 89.4±8.1% for Cr, 99.3±4.6% for Cu, 103±10% for Fe, 96.3±9.3% for Hg, 95.4±12% for K, 98.3±8.0% for Mg, 93.4±7.8% for Mo, 95.3±9.9% for Mn, 89±12% for Na, 90.3±9.7% for Ni, 91.2±5.5% for Pb and 92.0±9.4% for Zn. The concentrations of the minerals and microelements studied fall within the typical range of rice grown around the world. Potassium was the most abundant mineral, followed by Mg and Ca; among microelements, the concentrations of Cu, Fe, Mo, Mn, Na, and Zn in rice were outstanding. It was also found that the milling process highly affects the K, Mg, Mn, Na, and Zn concentrations, while it has little influence on Ca, Co, Cu, and Fe. On the other hand, there is a loss of Ca, Fe, and Mn during the parboiling process. Recent studies have shown the potential to exploit the genetic variation of rice seeds with regard to the concentration of some minerals (Ca, Fe, Zn, etc.) without affecting yield or adding new traits. All rice samples tested showed lower levels of As, Cd, Hg, and Pb in comparison to the maximum limit permitted by government organizations. Thus, the consumption of Uruguayan rice presents no health threat regarding the concentration of toxic elements such as As, Cd, Cr, Hg, and Pb.

Publicado en: Atomic Spectroscopy.-- 2006, 27(2):51-59


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