Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 329–339 | Cite as

Effect of Cooking on Speciation and In Vitro Bioaccessibility of Hg and As from Rice, Using Ordinary and Pressure Cookers

  • Wen Liao
  • Guang WangEmail author
  • Kaiming Li
  • Wenbo Zhao
  • Ye Wu


Rice is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, and owing to environmental pollution, it is a major source of human exposure to mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As). We evaluated the impact of cooking on the speciation and bioaccessibility of Hg and As from rice in this study. Results show that the dominant Hg and As species in rice from Guangzhou market in China were their inorganic forms (iHg and iAs), respectively. The cooking process modified the levels of Hg and As. Average Hg and As bioaccessibility in raw rice was 69.74 and 80.32%, respectively. Hg bioaccessibility decreased to 46.22 and 42.37% for pressure- and ordinary-cooked rice, respectively. In contrast, As bioaccessibility remained unchanged except after cooking with a large amount of water. Protein denaturation and the amount of soluble and volatile forms determine the bioaccessibility of Hg and As in cooked rice by being released into the cooking water or into the air. From the bioaccessibility data, the average established daily intake (EDI) values of Hg and As from pressure-cooked rice for children and adults were 0.034 and 0.025 μg kg−1 day−1 (Hg), and 0.735 and 0.559 μg kg−1 day−1 (As), respectively. This study provides novel insights into Hg and As exposure due to rice cooking.


Rice Pressure cooking Mercury Arsenic Speciation Bioaccessibility 


Funding Information

This research work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21207046), National Science Foundation of Guangzhou (No. S2012010008396), and Key Project of science and technology of national water pollution control and management of China (2009ZX07528-001).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that no conflict of interest affects this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.National Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, South China Institute of Environmental SciencesMinistry of Environmental ProtectionGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Key Laboratory of Water and Air Pollution ControlSouth China Institute of Environmental SciencesGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.College of Life SciencesHebei UniversityBaodingChina

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