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Evaluation of raw soapstone (steatite) as adsorbent of trace elements present in Brazilian spirits

Louvera Silva, Karine Aparecida, da Costa Fernandes, Isabela, Bearzoti, Eduardo, Milani, Raquel Fernanda, Morgano, Marcelo Antonio, Quintaes, Kesia Diego
Food chemistry 2016 v.200 pp. 83-90
adsorbents, alcoholic beverages, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel
The impact of soapstone (steatite) upon inorganic element contaminant concentrations in alcoholic beverages was investigated. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb levels in 8 Brazilian spirits plus an alcoholic simulant were initially measured, and then measured following each 24h cycle of exposure to raw soapstone cups, for a total of 4cycles/sample. The results were compared to the levels established by Brazilian and German regulations. The contact between the spirits and the soapstone reduced the Cu content by up to 50.4% and increased the Ni content by up to 622.2%, especially in the first contact cycle. The exposure of spirits to the soapstone exhibits a linear reduction in the Pb content (18.3–54.5%) while As and Cd levels remained unaltered throughout the experiments. In conclusion, crude soapstone in contact with alcoholic solutions acts as an adsorbent of trace elements (Cu and Pb) while releasing Ni.