High levels of arsenic found in rice presents risk to UK children

Fera

High levels of arsenic found in rice presents risk to UK children

In a bid to mitigate associated health risks and to reduce children’s exposure to harmful contaminants, the European Commission imposed a maximum limit for inorganic arsenic concentrations for manufacturers to comply with.

Following recent testing on multiple rice varieties sold in the UK, researchers* have found that half of the rice samples in the study exceeded the maximum arsenic limits for young children.

Rice and rice-based products are a popular choice for parents, widely used during weaning, and to feed young children, due to its availability, nutritional value and relatively low allergenic potential. Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause a range of health problems including developmental problems, heart disease, diabetes and nervous system damage. As babies grow rapidly, they are at a sensitive stage of development and are known to be more susceptible to the damaging effects of arsenic, which can inhibit their development and cause long-term health problems.

Breaching food safety regulations is a huge concern and consumers must be aware of the potential risks from the rice they are regularly purchasing. Regular monitoring enables producers and retailers to be able to maintain consumer confidence in their products.

At Fera Science, our experts specialise in the detection and accurate measurement of trace elements and metals in a wide range of matrices including rice and rice-based products. Alongside our metal analysis tests, Fera’s proficiency testing group, Fapas® are making a significant contribution to help the Baby Food Council meet the challenge of reducing heavy metals in commercially produced infant food. Learn more about our leading work here and view our available tests below:

*University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food

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