Arsenic is an element that is naturally present in the earth, water and air and is found in two forms, organic and inorganic, the latter is considered the most toxic due to its long-term harmful effects on health. However, man has contributed to the elevation of arsenic in the environment due to the contamination of mines, the smelting of minerals, the use of pesticides that contain arsenic, etc.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), arsenic is present in various foods such as fruits, vegetables and cereals, so they absorb it from the ground and water, especially rice is the cereal with the highest level of inorganic arsenic since it absorbs it more easily than other cereals.
The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) Expert Group on contaminants in the food chain (CONTAM Group) evaluated the health risks that the presence of arsenic in food may have and it was concluded that the tolerable weekly intake of 15 ? g / kg body weight established by the Joint FAO / WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) is no longer appropriate, because data showed that inorganic arsenic causes cancer of the lung, urinary bladder, skin, and a number of adverse effects have even been reported at exposures lower than those reviewed by JECFA.
The Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverde, National Food Agency, Sweden) in 2015 analyzed 102 rice products, for children and adults, to see the amount of arsenic they contain and the results showed that rice contains arsenic in variable amounts and that the arsenic content is high especially in the rice cakes and brown rice products that were part of the study.
It was concluded that it is good to have a varied diet, eat different brands of rice only a couple of times a week to reduce the risk of ingesting too much of harmful substances, "this way it does not constitute a health risk" according to Emma Halldin Ankarberg, a toxicologist at the Swedish National Food Agency. Instead, eating rice every day, or several times a day, ingests a large amount of arsenic. Children should not eat rice and its products more than four times a week.
The agency also looked at whether different cooking methods matter in terms of the amount of arsenic found in cooked rice, and one way to reduce the amount of arsenic is to boil the rice with plenty of water, which is drained, and then turns off. Doing this can reduce the arsenic content in rice by more than half.
The Epoch Times