Determination of total strontium in uruguayan rice by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES)

  • Mario E. Rivero Huguet Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay
  • Elena Darre Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), Uruguay


Strontium (Sr) is found naturally as a non-radioactive element and has 16 known isotopes. Naturally occurring Sr is found as four stable isotopes: Sr-84, -86, -87, and -88. Twelve other isotopes are radioactive. Sr-90 is the most important radioactive isotope in the environment, discovered mostly after the nuclear experiments conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. In the present work, 86 rice samples (Oryza saliva L.) and 7 rice husk samples were digested by dry ashing for the purpose of determining the total Sr levels by ICP-OES. The mean concentrations found were: 0.281 µg g-1 for milled, 0.287 µg g-1 for parboiled milled, 0.564 µg g-1 for brown, 0.73 µg g-1 for parboiled brown, and 1.16 µg g-1 for paddy rice, and 3.44 µg g-1 for the rice husks. Validation of the method was conducted with a certified reference material, NIST CAM 8418 Wheat Gluten, and the recovery obtained ranged from 89-98%. As the outer layers (aleurone, pericarp) of the grain are removed, the Sr concentration decreases. It can then be assumed that most of the Sr is stored in these layers. Although no extensive data exist for Sr levels in rice, the values obtained are in good agreement with the results reported for Sr in brown rice from Japan (0.25-0.72 µg g-1) and with non-contaminated foodstuffs from other parts of the world. Thus, the Uruguayan rice has Sr levels that match non-contaminated samples and its consumption presents no health threat.

Publicado en: Atomic Spectroscopy.-- 2006, 27(3):80-85


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