Choose and Prepare Rice Carefully to Ease Arsenic Concerns

Article ID: 594796

Released: 11-Oct-2012 1:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Cornell University

Newswise — John Duxbury, a professor of soil science and international agriculture at Cornell University, has studied arsenic contamination of soils and irrigation waters in Bangladesh and the impacts of arsenic contamination on rice productivity and the content and forms of arsenic in rice varieties. He has developed water management strategies to reduce arsenic toxicity and the arsenic content of rice grain.

Duxbury says:

“The total arsenic in rice grain varies greatly, while levels of the most toxic inorganic forms of arsenic are less variable. Arsenic content of rice grain is influenced by soils properties, by water management practices during its growth and by genetics. Methods exist to reduce the arsenic content of rice during growth, processing and home preparation.”

“Washing rice until the wash water is clear – generally five to six washings – coupled with cooking in a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 6 cups of water, and discarding excess water, can remove 40 to 55 percent of the inorganic arsenic in rice when the arsenic content of water is below the U.S. limit. Used properly, this preparation procedure is an easy way for individuals to lower the inorganic arsenic content in rice.”

NOTE: For more detailed information on arsenic levels in rice from Professor Duxbury, see http://www.pressoffice.cornell.edu/releases/release.cfm?r=69741&y=2012&m=10

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