Influence of cooking method on arsenic retention in cooked rice related to dietary exposure

Sci Total Environ. 2006 Oct 15;370(1):51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.05.018. Epub 2006 Jul 11.


Arsenic concentration in raw rice is not only the determinant in actual dietary exposure. Though there have been many reports on arsenic content in raw rice and different tissues of rice plant, little is known about arsenic content retained in cooked rice after being cooked following the traditional cooking methods employed by the people of arsenic epidemic areas. A field level experiment was conducted in Bangladesh to investigate the influence of cooking methods on arsenic retention in cooked rice. Rice samples were collected directly from a severely arsenic affected area and also from an unaffected area, to compare the results. Rice was cooked according to the traditional methods employed by the population of subjected areas. Arsenic concentrations were 0.40+/-0.03 and 0.58+/-0.12 mg/kg in parboiled rice of arsenic affected area, cooked with excess water and 1.35+/-0.04 and 1.59+/-0.07 mg/kg in gruel for BRRI dhan28 and BRRI hybrid dhan1, respectively. In non-parboiled rice, arsenic concentrations were 0.39+/-0.04 and 0.44+/-0.03 mg/kg in rice cooked with excess water and 1.62+/-0.07 and 1.74+/-0.05 mg/kg in gruel for BRRI dhan28 and BRRI hybrid dhan1, respectively. Total arsenic content in rice, cooked with limited water (therefore gruel was absorbed completely by rice) were 0.89+/-0.07 and 1.08+/-0.06 mg/kg (parboiled) and 0.75+/-0.04 and 1.09+/-0.06 mg/kg (non-parboiled) for BRRI dhan28 and BRRI hybrid dhan1, respectively. Water used for cooking rice contained 0.13 and 0.01 mg of As/l for contaminated and non-contaminated areas, respectively. Arsenic concentrations in cooked parboiled and non-parboiled rice and gruel of non-contaminated area were significantly lower (p<0.01) than that of contaminated area. The results imply that cooking of arsenic contaminated rice with arsenic contaminated water increases its concentration in cooked rice.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / analysis*
  • Bangladesh
  • Body Burden
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Diet*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Oryza*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Arsenic