Relationship between arsenic content of food and water applied for food processing

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As part of a survey conducted by the Central Agricultural Office of Hungary, 67 food samples including beverages were taken from 57 food industrial and catering companies, 75% of them being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, 40% of the SMEs were micro entities. Water used for food processing was simultaneously sampled. The arsenic (As) content of solid food stuff was determined by hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry after dry ashing. Food stuff with high water content and water samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The As concentration exceeded 10μg/L in 74% of the water samples taken from SMEs. The As concentrations of samples with high water content and water used were linearly correlated. Estimated As intake from combined exposure to drinking water and food of the population was on average 40% of the daily lower limit of WHO on the benchmark dose for a 0.5% increased incidence of lung cancer (BMDL0.5) for As. Five settlements had higher As intake than the BMDL0.5. Three of these settlements are situated in Csongrád county and the distance between them is less than 55km. The maximum As intake might be 3.8μg/kg body weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-608
Number of pages8
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • Carry-over effect
  • Cooking
  • Diet
  • Endemic areas
  • Intake
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology

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