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Inter-laboratory validation of an inexpensive streamlined method to measure inorganic arsenic in rice grain

Chaney, Rufus L., Green, Carrie E., Lehotay, Steven J.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2018 v.410 no.22 pp. 5703-5710
acidity, arsenic, cacodylic acid, compliance, crop production, crops, high performance liquid chromatography, hydrides, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, quality control, rice, spectroscopy, trade
With the establishment by CODEX of a 200 ng/g limit of inorganic arsenic (iAs) in polished rice grain, more analyses of iAs will be necessary to ensure compliance in regulatory and trade applications, to assess quality control in commercial rice production, and to conduct research involving iAs in rice crops. Although analytical methods using high-performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) have been demonstrated for full speciation of As, this expensive and time-consuming approach is excessive when regulations are based only on iAs. We report a streamlined sample preparation and analysis of iAs in powdered rice based on heated extraction with 0.28 M HNO₃ followed by hydride generation (HG) under control of acidity and other simple conditions. Analysis of iAs is then conducted using flow-injection HG and inexpensive ICP-atomic emission spectroscopy (AES) or other detection means. A key innovation compared with previous methods was to increase the acidity of the reagent solution with 4 M HCl (prior to reduction of As⁵⁺ to As³⁺), which minimized interferences from dimethylarsinic acid. An inter-laboratory method validation was conducted among 12 laboratories worldwide in the analysis of six shared blind duplicates and a NIST Standard Reference Material involving different types of rice and iAs levels. Also, four laboratories used the standard HPLC-ICP-MS method to analyze the samples. The results between the methods were not significantly different, and the Horwitz ratio averaged 0.52 for the new method, which meets official method validation criteria. Thus, the simpler, more versatile, and less expensive method may be used by laboratories for several purposes to accurately determine iAs in rice grain. Graphical abstract Comparison of iAs results from new and FDA methods