Celiac disease (CD) may affect up to 1% of the Western population. It is a disease whose diagnosis has been made mainly in childhood, but now the profile has changed, with one out of five newly diagnosed individuals being over 65 years old. The only treatment for this population is a gluten-free diet. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyse the occurrence of arsenic (As) in gluten-free products, basically those rice-based, intended for celiac adult consumers. The current study demonstrated that these rice-based products contained important contents of total arsenic (t-As) (up to 120 μg kg(-1)) and inorganic arsenic (i-As) (up to 85.8 μg kg(-1)). It was estimated that the contents of t-As and i-As in rice used as the main ingredient of these foods were as high as 235 and 198 μg kg(-1), respectively. The estimated daily intake of i-As was 0.46 and 0.45 μg kg(-1) bw in women and men of 58 and 75 kg of body weight (bw), respectively. These values indicate that a health risk to these consumers cannot be excluded. Finally, legislation is needed to delimit the safety intake by health agencies and to improve the labelling of these special rice-based foods for celiac adult consumers. The label should include information about percentage, geographical origin and cultivar of the rice used; besides and if companies want to clearly prove the safety of their products, the exact content of i-As should also be included.
Keywords: Oryza sativa; dietary exposure; food safety; gluten-free food.